Posted on Jul 19, 2007
The day after birth on February 15, 2007, an infant at Sarah Bush Hospital had a standard circumcision procedure performed by Dr. Sherif Malek. However, what should have been a forgotten memory for the boy became a lifelong nightmare. Due to negligence, Dr. Malek severed the entire glans, commonly termed the head, of the infant's penis. Today, Jerry A. Latherow of Latherow Law Office on behalf of plaintiffs Boy Doe (the infant) and his mother, Jane Doe, filed a complaint for compensation for damages against Sarah Bush Lincoln Health System, Inc, 1000 Health Center Drive, Mattoon, IL, and Sherif Malek, D.O. in the Circuit Court of Coles County, Illinois.
The infant was a healthy seven pound newborn who was delivered without complications on February 14, 2007. The following day, a routine circumcision was performed on the infant by Dr. Malek using a Mogen clamp, a metal, hinge-shaped device used during the procedure. At the completion of the circumcision, hospital records indicated there was significant bleeding. Inspection of the penis revealed nearly all of the glans had been amputated at the time of the circumcision. Three months later, the infant required penile skin transfer surgery at the University of Illinois, with need for future procedures, some of which are only appropriate at the age of puberty.
According to medical expert witness, Dr. David Zbaraz with Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, who reviewed the Sarah Bush medical records of the infant, "The Mogen clamp when used properly cannot amputate a male infant's glans. The injury to this boy was completely preventable."
Across the United States major settlements have been made for botched circumcisions. In 1991, a hospital in Atlanta, GA, agreed to pay $22.8 million because of negligence during a circumcision. Also in New York City a boy received $1.2 million for a circumcision error, and in Lake Charles, LA a family received $2.75 million after a boy's penis was burned during a routine circumcision.
"Through simple carelessness at Sarah Bush Hospital, a boy will face physical disfigurement and psychological trauma throughout his life," said Jerry A. Latherow, the attorney representing Boy Doe and Jane Doe, "Unfortunately, caps on medical malpractice cases in Illinois will prevent the boy from recovering more than $500,000 against the physician for the lifelong deformity and urological care, and any associated psychological problems. Sadly, the hospital's liability for such damages is capped at $1 million. Even before the case is tried, a mother and her child have been robbed."
A complete copy of the complaint is available upon request. About Jerry A. Latherow
Jerry A. Latherow is a veteran trial lawyer who has attained verdicts and settlements for his clients in cases involving medical malpractice, vehicular and construction liability, and airplane crash cases. In 2003, he was recognized by the National Law Journal as obtaining one of the top 100 verdicts in the country.