Doctor’s Trial Begins on Allegedly Botched Circumcision

EDINBURG, Texas (CN) – Jury trial was to begin Monday against a South Texas doctor accused of botching the circumcision of a 4-year-old boy whose parents say their son, now 10, may need still more reconstructive surgery.

The DeLeon family’s November 2012 lawsuit against Dr. Jennifer J. Garza, of McAllen, claimed she over-cauterized the boy’s penis to stop it from bleeding after telling them that the circumcision was successful.

The parents claim in Hidalgo County Court that their son’s urethra was damaged by the botched procedure, creating fistulas – holes in his penis – that required reconstructive surgery, which may be required again.

They said in their lawsuit that the boy was in tremendous pain, refused to drink anything because he did not want to urinate, and pleaded with them “to just cut it off, and he can be a girl.”

Garza has denied the allegations and defended her medical practice in a stream of court filings through more than four years of litigation. In a motion for summary judgment in March, Garza said there is no credible medical evidence that she breached the standard of care.

On Thursday, Hidalgo County Judge Fred Garza allowed Garza’s medical practice to be dismissed from the case, but refused to dismiss claims against Garza.

A Texas appeals court in December 2013 upheld the trial court’s refusal to dismiss the case on technical grounds. Garza had challenged the opinion of one of the Deleons’ experts.

Court records show Garza settled at least two previous medical malpractice claims before they reached a jury.

A 2010 lawsuit against Garza for complications during a gallbladder removal ended in a settlement two years later. A second 2010 lawsuit accused Garza of perforating a two-month-old child’s stomach wall with a tube.

Trial in the Deleon’s case was to begin at 9 a.m. Monday at County Court at Law No. 4 in Edinburg.

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