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Tuesday, July 23, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Botched Circumcision Leads to Court

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (CN) - Parents claim that a doctor who botched a circumcision and partially amputated their son's penis obtained confidential medical information from their child's pediatrician to bolster his defense for the resulting medical negligence lawsuit.

Joseph and Robin Biondo say they took son to Dr. Daniel. Gottschall, who works for Alliance for Women's Health, for a circumcision in June 2004.

"While performing the procedure Dr. Gottschall partially amputated the penis, causing traumatic injury to [their son's] penis and severing his glans and urethra. Following the circumcision, [the boy] was transferred to Yale-New Haven Hospital for surgical repair of his penis. ... His pre-operative diagnosis was listed as partial penile amputation of 35-40 percent of the glans, as well as traumatic injury to the penis."

The Biondos says their physician-patient relationship with Dr. Gottschall ended the day of the botched circumcision and attendant surgery. They brought a medical negligence action against Dr. Gottschall and Alliance for Women's Health in 2005.

The parents add that "prior to the circumcision, and continuing into 2010, [their son] and his two older brothers received pediatric care from physicians who were members of Main Street Pediatrics, P.C. in Bridgeport, Connecticut, including Dr. Roy E. Schutzengel.

"On October 1, 2007, despite the fact that [their son's] lawsuit against Dr. Gottschall was pending and that Dr. Gottschall's treatment relationship with [the boy] had ended three years earlier, Dr. Gottschall knowingly and intentionally contacted a partner of Main Street Pediatrics, Dr. Schutzengel, for the purpose of gathering information about [the boy's] condition," according to the complaint.

The parents say Dr. Gottschall had "no legitimate treatment purpose or legal purpose" to contact Dr. Schutzengel, but contacted him "for the purpose of obtaining confidential medical information that could be helpful in assisting his own defense and the defense of Alliance for Women's Health against [the] pending medical negligence claims in the lawsuit."

The parents say Dr. Schutzengel provided Gottschall with confidential medical information and as a result, the "breach of fiduciary duty owed to [their son, and his] relationship with his pediatricians, Main Street Pediatrics, was permanently and irreparably damaged, thereby requiring [the] parents to break [their son's] longstanding and trusting relationship with his pediatricians and to seek pediatric care from new and unknown physicians.

The Biondos seek damages from Gottschall and the Alliance for Women's Health, alleging inducement of breach of physician-patient relationship and of fiduciary duty, breach of fiduciary duty and tortious interference with contractual relationship.

They seek damages from Dr. Schutzengel and Main Street Pediatrics for breach of physician-patient relationship, breach of fiduciary duty and breach of contract.

They are represented by Paul Slager with Silver, Golub & Young of Stamford.

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