Botched circumcision leads to $ 4.6M settlement

September 27, 2011
By Parker Scheer LLP on September 27, 2011 4:50 PM |

The family of an 8 year old boy recently obtained a $4.6 million settlement with the maker of a clamp used during a botched circumcision, according to an article appearing in the Los Angeles Times.

The boy's penis was partially amputated when he was circumcised as an infant. The accident is one of many examples of injuries caused by circumcisions around the country.

Parker | Scheer LLP has handled numerous botched circumcision cases on behalf of children who suffered partial or total amputation of the distal penis following circumcisions, including one resulting in a $1.26 million structured settlement for the child.

In that case, a pediatrician who performed the circumcision inadvertently amputated a portion of the infant's glans penis. The doctor used sutures to repair the damage, leading to the loss of tissue. The pediatrician did not recommend surgical repair by a pediatric surgeon, which if it had been performed, would likely have improved the cosmetic result and reduced the degree of a condition involving the abnormal placement of the urethra opening on the penis.

The device used for the circumcision in the case we handled - the Mogen clamp - was also used on the boy in the recent case in California. The Mogen clamp was first invented in 1954 by a Brooklyn rabbi who wanted to standardize circumcision equipment. The Mogen clamp loosens the foreskin, then pulls it through the clamp and clips it with a single cut. Some think the Mogen clamp has a design flaw because it doesn't allow users to see what they're cutting.

The other two devices commonly used for circumcisions - the Gomco clamp and Plastibell circumcision instrument - are two-part systems designed to protect the tip of the penis during the procedure.

Approximately 56 percent of boys born in the U.S. are circumcised in hospitals, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC does not track the number of circumcisions performed in religious ceremonies, such as the Jewish bris .

Miltex, Inc., the defendant in the California botched circumcision case, stopped distributing the Mogen clamp in 1994. In 2000, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a public health notice concerning the Mogen and Gomco clamps after receiving about 20 injury reports annually since 1996, including lacerations, hemorrhaging, amputations, and urethral damage. The FDA did not recall the clamps, but warned users on the proper use of the devices.

Despite continued reports of injuries involving the Mogen clamp, the device remains popular among physicians who perform circumcisions.

If you or someone you know has been the victim of a botched circumcision, learn more about your rights by contacting the Complex Personal Injury team for a free consultation, toll free, at (866) 414-0400. There is never a charge to discuss your potential case and all information is maintained in strict confidence.

Please also see Odds That You'll Encounter Medical Error at a Hospital? One in Three, When Average Is Not Good Enough and Concerns Grow for DePuy Hip Implant Patients for related personal injury news.