Clinic Demands Sanctions, Claims Penis Amputation Never Happened
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (CN) - An Alabama urology clinic wants an attorney sanctioned for filing what it calls "entirely false" allegations that its doctor amputated the penis of a man who had gone there for a circumcision.
Johnny Lee Banks Jr. and his wife sued the Urology Centers of Alabama and two doctors on July 22, in Jefferson County Court.
As Courthouse News reported on July 23, Banks claimed that he'd checked into a Baptist Health System hospital for a circumcision and awoke from surgery to find his penis had been amputated.
On Tuesday, the clinic filed a request for sanctions against attorney John P. Graves and Eversole Law, who filed Banks's July 22 lawsuit.
"The allegations in the complaint are totally false. Counsel for the plaintiff knew, or with the exercise of any reasonable and ethical care should have known, that the claims are false," the motion states.
Besides the urology center, defendants in the original lawsuit were the Simon-Williamson Clinic and Drs. Vincent M. Bivins and Alan C. Aikens.
"Plaintiffs' claims lack any basis in fact, and their allegations are entirely false," the clinic says in its July 29 request for sanctions and oral argument.
"As set forth in the attached affidavit of defendant Dr. Bivins, Dr. Bivins has never performed a circumcision involving removal of any tissue from Mr. Banks. ... Neither physician has ever 'amputated' all or any part of Mr. Banks' penis."
The motion continues: "These facts would have been readily apparent from even a cursory review of Mr. Banks' medical records. Plaintiffs' counsel, Mr. John P. Graves of Eversole, LLC has admitted publicly in media appearances that he did not review a single medical record prior to filing this lawsuit. (Exhibit C, July 24, 2014 article from AL.com.) This conduct by Mr. Graves and Eversole Law, LLC is on its face irresponsible and unethical. It is in violation of Rule 11 of the Alabama Rules of Civil Procedure, the Alabama Litigation Accountability Act, and Ala. Rule of Prof. Conduct 3.1."
To sum it up, the motion states: "Mr. Graves' conduct in signing and filing the complaint violates Rule 11. Mr. Graves could not have had a reasonable belief that there were good grounds to support plaintiffs' claims against these physician defendants or their professional groups, because even minimal investigation into the facts alleged in the complaint would have revealed that the claims against these defendants are completely false. The filing of this complaint, with these sensational and defamatory allegations against the defendant physicians and clinics, without making any effort whatsoever to investigate the case or examine the medical records is on its face a violation of Rule 11 and represents conduct by an attorney that is both unethical and reprehensible. Defendants therefore request an award of sanctions against Mr. Graves and Eversole law, LLC, pursuant to Rule 11, including dismissal of the complaint and an award of monetary sanctions. The allegations in the complaint and those made publicly in the media by Mr. Graves and Eversole Law, LLC are false, scandalous, and calculated to intentionally and publicly harm the reputation of distinguished physicians. ...
"Disciplinary action is especially appropriate in this instance due to the widespread publicity of plaintiffs' baseless claims, which have created sensational headlines locally, nationally and internationally."
The clinic is represented by Michael Florie, with Starnes Davis & Florie, of Birmingham. Florie was not available for comment late Wednesday afternoon.
Attorney Graves at Eversole Law did not return a request for comment late Wednesday.