Apr 30 2019

Trial Verdict 2019-15: Morrison Mahoney Partner Brent Tingle Obtains Defense Verdict in Middlesex Superior Court

Morrison Mahoney Partner Brent Tingle obtained a defense verdict after a two week trial in Middlesex Superior Court in Lowell.

The case involved a newborn who had significant complications following a newborn circumcision that led to scar formation and issues. The child underwent a successful reconstructive surgery when he was four months old that addressed the functional problem but left him with some cosmetic issues that the defense experts considered minor but the parents considered significant. The defense of the case was complicated by the fact that the treating pediatric urologist at MGH who performed the reconstructive surgery stated repeatedly in his notes that our client caused the problem “by removing too much outer foreskin” when she did the circumcision. The defense called two experts (an OB/ GYN and a pediatric urologist).  The plaintiff called a prominent pediatric urologist from Washington, D.C., and a Massachusetts-based OB/GYN expert and a psychiatric expert (who as a child appeared on the PBS children’s show Zoom).  The psychiatric expert testified that the boy would likely need thousands of hours of therapy in the future to the tune of approximately $500,000. He ignored the fact that this child is now 6 years old and is happy, healthy, well-adjusted and blissfully unaware of any minor cosmetic issues with his anatomy. It was revealed on cross examination that this expert has been involved in at least 50 similar cases as a plaintiff’s expert and that he cut-and-pasted most of his reports from case to case regardless of how serious the circumcision injury was.

Our client came across exceptionally well, but acknowledged without prompting that she made an “error in judgment” when approximating how much skin to remove.

The jury ended up deliberating for 35 minutes including lunch before finding for our client.

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