Circumcision Is Botched, Repair Never Recommended

Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly
December 08, 2003
Verdicts & Settlements

$1.26 Million Settlement

On Sept. 3, 1994, two days after the birth of a healthy, African-American baby boy, the defendant pediatrician visited the child's parents and offered to perform an elective circumcision. While the mother was initially reluctant, she claimed that she was ultimately persuaded by the defendant that circumcision was medically advisable.

The plaintiff alleged that the defendant never mentioned or noted any pre-existing condition or anomaly that added any additional risk to the circumcision procedure. The defendant reportedly assured the parents that he had successfully performed numerous circumcisions in the past without incident.

On Sept. 3, 1994, the defendant performed an elective neonatal circumcision on the minor using a Mogen clamp.

During the procedure, the defendant inadvertently amputated a portion of the minor's glans penis. The defendant attempted to repair the damage by closing a portion of the glans with three 5-0 chromic sutures. As a result, the minor sustained a loss of tissue on his glans penis, measuring 5 by 4 millimeters.

The plaintiff alleged that the defendant did not request or otherwise recommend surgical repair by a pediatric surgeon, which, the plaintiff's expert was prepared to testify, would likely have improved the cosmetic result and reduced the degree of resulting hypospadias.

Type of action: Medical Malpractice
Injuries alleged: Partial amputation of tip of glans penis
Name of case: Withheld
Court/case #: U.S. District Court (case no. withheld)
Tried before judge or jury: N/A (settled)
Name of judge: Michael A. Ponsor
Amount of settlement: $1.26 million structured settlement (present day value of $550,000 cash)
Date: Aug. 5, 2003
Attorneys: Eric J. Parker and Susan M. Bourque, Parker Scheer, Boston (for the plaintiff)

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