Massachusetts attorney Les Wallerstein kindly sent us notice of this major recent settlement in his state. Circumcision cases seem to be settling for substantially higher sums these days.
Attorneys for the Rights of the Child
Infant sustains partial amputation during bris
Parents say they suffered severe emotional distress; $700,000 settlement
Published: 9:25 am Thu, June 21, 2012
By Mass. Lawyers Weekly Staff
An 8-day-old baby suffered an amputation of a portion of the ventral glans of his penis at a Jewish brit milah circumcision ceremony, or bris, at a private residence. The plaintiffs maintained that the doctor/mohel was negligent in his performance of the procedure.
The doctor/mohel allegedly failed to re-examine the child between the ceremony and the time that the child left for the hospital. Upon arrival, the child was rushed to an operating room for emergency surgery as a result of an amputation of his ventral glans and a traumatic hypospadias, or damage to the opening of the urethra.
The child was released from the hospital the following day with a catheter inserted into his penis, only to return to the hospital later that night because the catheter had fallen out. After a lengthy effort to re-insert the catheter, during which time the child screamed in agony, a decision was made to have family members insert a tube into the child’s penis numerous times a day over a 10-day period.
The child suffers from a permanently disfigured penis, a hypospadias and remaining foreskin. He has experienced night terrors and may require further surgery for medical and/or cosmetic reasons.
His parents, who claimed to have suffered severe emotional distress, fear the emotional difficulties the child will face as he matures and deals with, among other things, school locker rooms and/or romantic relationships.
Action: Medical malpractice
Injuries alleged: Amputation of portion of ventral glans, emotional damage
Case name: Withheld
Court/case no.: Withheld
Jury and/or judge: N/A (mediated)
Date: March 2012
Most helpful experts: Henry E. Simkin, M.D., and John P. Gearhart, M.D.
Attorneys: Paul J. Klehm, James B. Krasnoo and Benjamin L. Falkner, of Krasnoo|Klehm, Andover (for the plaintiffs)