If my son was injured as a result of his circumcision, do we bring a lawsuit against the hospital/doctor who performed the procedure?

He is now 4 but was circumcised the day after birth at the hospital. Immediately after we realized that his shaft was bruised. He was unable to urinate for the next 48 hours due to swelling in the urethra. We were told to admit him into Children’s Hospital. There he had to have a catheter for the next several days while we waited for the swelling to subside.

Asked on February 2, 2016 under Malpractice Law, Arkansas

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If the statute of limitations has not expired, your lawsuit for negligence on behalf of your son should name both the hospital and doctor who performed the procedure as defendants.
You will need to be appointed guardian ad litem to file a lawsuit on behalf of your son because he is a minor.
Medical malpractice is negligence.  Negligence on the part of the doctor is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that a reasonable medical practitioner in the community would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm).
The hospital is liable for negligence because the hospital is the employer of the doctor and and an employer is liable for the negligence of an employee which occurs during the course and scope of employment.
If the doctor is an independent contractor instead of an employee of the hospital, the hospital is not liable as an employer, but is liable for negligence since the operation occurred on its premises.  Negligence on the part of the hospital is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that a reasonable hospital would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm).
If the statute of limitations has expired, your son's claim is barred and he has lost his rights forever in the matter.
 


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