[Stephen Matthew Milligan, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons]

Transitioner Lawsuit Can Move Ahead

When she was 16, Prisha Mosley was convinced by doctors that the way to help her depression was to “transition” from being a physically healthy but mentally hurt teenage girl to a transgender boy.

She told Fox News, “Starting when I was 16 years old, and continuing into my teen and young adult years, doctors and counselors set me on a path of medicalized “gender transition.” They told me that changing my body to look like a boy’s body would cure my mental health problems. They told me that injecting large amounts of testosterone into my female body would be good for me. They also encouraged me to undergo surgery to remove my healthy breasts.

I trusted these health care providers to take care of me. Because of that relationship of trust, and my vulnerable condition, I believed what they said and I thought they were treating me properly.”

The “treatment” led to major physical ailments and has caused her pain.  

In July 2023, Mosley, now 25, filed a lawsuit against several doctors who advised her to proceed with a gender transition after diagnosing her with various mental health disorders. The suit alleges medical malpractice, civil conspiracy, negligent infliction of emotional distress, and unfair and deceptive trade practices.

This week, a judge in North Carolina allowed the case to move forward.

The Washington Examiner writes that “the court has determined as a matter of law that the allegations of Plaintiff’s Complaint, treated as true, are sufficient to state a claim upon which relief may be granted,” North Carolina Superior Court Judge Robert Ervin said.

After the defendants requested a dismissal, Ervin agreed to dismiss the charges of medical malpractice, negligent infliction, unfair and deceptive trade practices, and breach of fiduciary duty. Ervin allowed the charges of civil conspiracy and fraud to proceed.

It is believed to be the first “detransitioner” lawsuit that was permitted to continue in the judicial system, according to Mosley attorney Josh Payne.

“This is the first substantive ruling we are aware of in which a Court has held that a detransitioner’s case against her health care professionals is legally viable,” Payne said in a statement. “We are honored to represent Prisha as she pursues justice for herself and her family and tries to prevent what happened to her from happening to others.”

While several states have tried to ban youth gender transitioning, lawsuits are likely to do more to “check gender-affirming care” practices hurting children, according to one scholar on the issue, Merrill Matthews.

In 2023, he explained in The Hill that “gender-affirming care is becoming big business. Revenue from sex reassignment surgery is currently about $2.5 billion, and is estimated to grow to $5 billion by 2030. And that’s just for surgery.

It’s way too early to tell whether the growing number of detransitioner lawsuits will succeed, but I suspect many of them will. Juries are likely to be very sympathetic to the claims of minors, who clearly needed mental health care but received life-altering medication or surgeries instead. Multimillion-dollar jury awards may be the best option for making the gender-affirming medical complex more accountable.”

What happens in North Carolina will likely have broad ramifications moving forward.

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