A jury in Georgia has awarded a young boy nearly $31 million after a botched circumcision resulted in part of his penis being severed, leaving him with what doctors say will be a permanent disfigurement.
The jury came to the decision on Friday, compensating the 5-year-old after a procedure at Life Cycle Pediatrics went awry. As the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported, attorneys representing the boy’s family said the boy will suffer a lifetime of mental anguish because of his deformed penis, which causes “physical pain from chronic scabbing.”
An attorney representing the midwife and doctor who performed the procedure told the jury that $1 million would be sufficient to cover the lifetime medical expenses, but the family’s attorney argued that he will face a lifetime of hardships because of the deformity, including pain and difficulty having children. It will also inhibit his ability to form romantic relationships later in life, the family’s attorney claimed.
The jury ultimately agreed, awarding the boy close to $31 million to compensate for physical suffering and mental anguish he will suffer throughout his life.
As the report noted, the physician performing the circumcision in 2013 accidentally slipped and cut off the tip of the boy’s penis. Rather than recommending emergency surgery, the physician instead put the severed tissue in a refrigerator and sent the 5-day-old boy home with his mother. The family’s attorney said the tip of the penis could have been re-attached if he were immediately sent to surgery, but instead, he was left with an injury that can never heal.
After the botched circumcision, the boy had to undergo a series of procedures and painful surgeries to allow him to urinate, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. He could need even more surgeries when he goes through puberty and may not be able to have children, doctors say.
The family’s attorney said he hopes that the case will serve as a warning to medical professionals to treat patients more carefully.
“We have to be very careful and trained when we worked with our — the healthcare of our people particularly infants,” attorney Neal Pope told Fox 5 Atlanta. “We think this sends a message that will teach us, if we’re in the healthcare business to take each person carefully each time so that this kind of thing doesn’t happen again.”
An attorney for the medical practice said they intend to appeal the $31 million judgment that the jury awarded to the boy for his botched circumcision, 11 Alive reported.