ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

cloudy-day
43°
Sunny
H 43° L 26°
  • cloudy-day
    43°
    Current Conditions
    Sunny. H 43° L 26°
  • clear-day
    43°
    Today
    Sunny. H 43° L 26°
  • clear-day
    47°
    Tomorrow
    Mostly Clear. H 47° L 38°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Wsb news on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Wsb traffic on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Wsb weather on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

Local
The jury has reached a verdict in a Clayton County botched circumcision case 
Close

The jury has reached a verdict in a Clayton County botched circumcision case 

The jury has reached a verdict in a Clayton County botched circumcision case 

The jury has reached a verdict in a Clayton County botched circumcision case 

WARNING: This story contains mature content that may not be suitable for all readers.

The jury has reached a verdict in a Clayton County botched circumcision case. 

The seven women, five men jury has awarded Baby D. and his mother $30 million for her son’s pain and suffering. The end of Baby D.’s privates were cut off after a circumcision went horrible wrong in 2013 in Clayton county. The jury also awarded an additional $380,000 for the mother and $400,00 for Baby D. when he turns 18.

The jury of seven women, five men deliberated barely 5 hours over two days before coming back with the first part that’s the compensatory part of their verdict.

Time, pain, and compensation.

Those were the themes of attorney Neal Pope's closing arguments at the trial over a botched circumcision in Clayton County.

 

Pope said time is "the stuff life's made of," something that's crucial for people in wrongful death or injury cases, and reminded the jury of the instant that it took to change a little boy's life forever. His first 18 days, said Pope, were Baby D.'s only normal ones of his life.

It was in 2013 when the 18-day-old D. was taken into Life Cycle OB/GYN in Riverdale by his mother. The hospital where she delivered him did not perform circumcisions, so despite her misgivings about having it done outside a hospital, she was reassured that the nurse midwife on duty was experienced and skilled in the procedure. Later, her baby boy's scream sent her flying into the room where the nurse midwife, Melissa Jones, testified that it took 10 minutes of direct pressure, a number of silver nitrate sticks and a pile of gauze to stop the bleeding.

"Time. How long does it take to make somebody go from normal to horribly injured? Flick of a knife--bam!" Pope said, snapping his fingers.

"With that flick of the knife, he was no longer normal and would never, ever, ever be normal again." 

D.'s glans--the tip of his penis--had been severed. And Pope pointed out that because no one told the mother that, or the fact that they had the cut-off tissue still there, she had no way of seeking out the treatment that likely would have reattached it with a narrow window of hours. That's the importance of time, he said.

"She left that place with a bleeding baby in her arms, without a piece of that baby," said Pope. 

Showing defendants a slide featuring pro athletes' salaries in the tens of millions, Pope told the panel that they could compensate the child and his family for what they've endured, and have yet to endure. He said over the years, he's struggled to find a way to communicate to jurors just what pain is. Finally, he says, he found an answer.

"Pain is a window into hell!" he said. "That's what pain is."

Close

Botched Circumcision: Closing Arguments

Pope told the jurors that estimates say D. will live another 69 years on average. He said D. will deal with physical and mental pain, dealing with a deformed penis that he has to repeatedly pick scabs off of to use the bathroom efficiently, and the pain to his psyche of worrying that he will be seen as less-than because of the lifelong injury. What would that do to a young man looking for love?, he wondered. It will take a special "other," continued Pope, to look past that.

"What we do here is going to have a direct bearing on what kind of life he has, and what kind of man he becomes," he said.

So he suggested to jurors what they could do for D., his mother, and even his future wife.

 

 

"I think the case is a $100 million case," Pope declared. 

The argument capped off four hours of closings after a week-long trial that featured doctors battling over how grim D.'s future would be.

The plaintiff's experts emphasized the failures made by the heath care providers after the devastating injury, and a child psychiatrist said D. should be provided with 20 non-consecutive years of counseling to help navigate his world when situations arise.

The defense emphasized that D. did suffer a serious injury, but also that his organ is in good working order now, that few or no future surgeries are likely, and that he would likely have sexual function later in life. 

Three defense attorneys, representing three separate sets of defendants, also addressed the jury. 

Terrell "Chip" Benton, defending the nurse midwife and Dr. Brian Register, the OB/GYN who was supervising that day, told jurors he knew they would levy sanctions against his clients. But he appealed to them to be fair not only D., but to the defendants as well. 

"Resist the temptation of some number in the multi-millions of dollars that's not fair to these health care providers. Resist that temptation," he implored.  

Benton said one million dollars would be fair to cover D.'s medical bills, therapy, and pain and suffering. He emphasized to jurors that Jones and Register did not mean to harm their patients, and did not turn their backs on the boy, Benton said, when he was injured.

While Jones and Register are already liable in the case thanks to a judge's ruling that they intentionally discarded evidence over the summer, two defendants hope to convince the jury that they are blameless.

Close

Botched Circumcision: Closing Arguments

Anne Sigouin, the owner of Life Cycle OB/GYN and Pediatrics, got a call the day of the medical mishap from the clinic, and advised them to call the boy's pediatrician, Dr. Abigail Kamishlian of Daffodil Pediatrics. Both contended during the course of the trial that they were not told anything of consequence over the phone that would have alerted them that the routine circumcision had morphed into an emergency situation.

Sigouin's lawyer, Page Powell, told jurors this case was unique. 

"I don't think I've ever had a case where there were two different defendants whose sole involvement was a phone call," said Powell. He contended that Sigouin was not informed that the boy's glans had been lacerated or that the tissue was still there--either that day or months later, after being kept in the refrigerator of her Riverdale clinic.

"Anne was not told," he said. 

Close

Botched Circumcision: Closing Arguments

Kamishlian's lawyer insisted that although the doctor wrote down a note that said the boy's glans tissue had been severed, she didn't believe that to be an emergency, either. Her contention is that the nurse midwife said the tissue was so small, she believed that "severed" in this case really meant a "nick" that would later heal itself.

Plaintiff's attorney M. J. Blakely said the women's stories are too far-fetched to believe. 

"Do you think Melissa Jones would call Dr. Kamishlian, somebody that she doesn't even know, and tell her that the glans had been severed, but not tell her own boss, somebody that she's been working with for years?" Blakely asked. "Because I don't."

Blakely asked jurors to search for the truth, and to fight for the little boy, who turns 5 next month, the way his mother and his lawyers have fought for him.

"Ladies and gentlemen, you can fight for D. with your verdict, to help ensure that he has a chance of enduring this life with some dignity intact," said Blakely.

The seven-woman, five-man jury began deliberating about 4:30 Thursday afternoon, and resumed Friday morning.

Read More

News

  • The 2019 Oscar nominations will revealed LIVE Tuesday on 'Good Morning America.' The nominations event will start around 8:20 a.m.  The Academy announced last week that Kumail Nanjiani and Tracee Ellis Ross will host the event. Who's excited for #OscarNoms? Join @KumailN and @TraceeEllisRoss on Tuesday at 5:20 am PST. https://t.co/cZbmfjsA1S pic.twitter.com/drK62oiFDk — The Academy (@TheAcademy) January 17, 2019 In addition to watching on Channel 2, the event will also be streamed on The Academy's YouTube channel. WATCH 'Good Morning America' immediately following Channel 2 Action News This Morning, starting at 4:30 a.m.
  • Family and friends are remembering a University of Georgia student who died in a fiery crash. William Aaron Whitaker, of Carrollton, died Thursday night in the crash that shut down the interstate between I-285 and Fulton Industrial Boulevard for about 10 hours, UGA spokesman Greg Trevor told AJC.com.  Learn how his loved ones are honoring him, on Channel 2 Action News at 5 p.m.  Whitaker was a sophomore studying exercise science and athletic training, according to an obituary on the Hightower Family Funeral Homes website.  Mario Vilan Polier, 53, of Hialeah, Florida, faces charges of improper lane change, following too closely and second-degree homicide by vehicle in connection with the incident.  Polier’s tractor-trailer overturned onto its passenger side while traveling on I-20 east around 7:30 p.m., crashing into a concrete barrier between the eastbound and westbound lanes, the Georgia State Patrol said. Debris from the concrete barrier went into the westbound lanes, striking two vehicles. TRENDING STORIES: Blood pressure medication recalled due to cancer risk Heads up, drivers: Multiple roads close for Super Bowl events beginning today DFCS dismissed abuse report before Georgia kids were found buried One of those vehicles was Whitaker’s, who died at the scene, GSP said. Three other people were also injured in the crash, but their conditions were not released. The deadly wreck shut down all eastbound I-20 lanes and all but one westbound lane Thursday night, and it brought brought I-20 traffic to a standstill back to Thornton Road, according to the WSB 24-hour Traffic Center.  Polier is in the Fulton County Jail on a $35,000 bond, according to county jail records. He also has a hold placed on him by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
  • A 9-year-old boy driving an all-terrain vehicle crashed over the weekend, killing a 58-year-old passenger in Osceola County, the Florida Highway Patrol said. >> Read more trending news Troopers said the boy was trying to avoid another ATV Saturday on 8 Mile Ranch Road when the vehicle he was operating hit a brim and overturned onto Laura Bizzell, of Avon Park. The boy suffered minor injuries, but Bizzell died, according to the FHP. The other ATV driver, Samuel Christmas, 53, suffered minor injuries.  Authorities continue to investigate the incident.
  • The first time Tom Brady won a Super Bowl ring, Sean McVay was just 16 years old. Now the Los Angeles Rams head coach, who turns 33 on Thursday, will have chance to defeat Brady and the Patriots more than 17 years later in the place where he grew up. “It’s kind of ironic that the only Super Bowl that I’ve been to as a fan was the last time the Rams played the Titans,” McVay said after winning NFC Championship. “I was at that game. My Grandpa, when he was still involved in the NFL, he got me tickets for my birthday.” Channel 2's Berndt Petersen traveled to Marist School in DeKalb County, where the head coach is still beloved in the community McVay led the War Eagles to a 6-AAAA state championship in 2003. Hear from Marist coaches about what it means to have one of their own play for Super Bowl in their backyard, on Channel 2 Action News at 4 and 5 p.m.  Hero of Marist High heads to the Super Bowl. 4:45 pic.twitter.com/dSHqhYIQVv — Berndt Petersen (@BPetersenWSB) January 21, 2019 Stay with Channel 2 Action News and WSBTV.com for complete Super Bowl LIII coverage leading up to the big game. Download our news app to get FREE alerts sent to phone and tablet and find complete coverage of Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta here  
  • Police in Tallahassee, Florida, responded to a video of a toddler exiting a truck with her hands up over her head, mimicking her parents’ arrest, and walking toward officers who had their guns drawn, by releasing body camera footage taken from a different angle, WCTV reported. >> Read more trending news  The incident took place Thursday, and after the cellphone video taken by a passerby during a shoplifting arrest went viral, Tallahassee police Chief Michael DeLeo released several clips from officer body cameras, the Tallahassee Democrat reported. DeLeo said 10 different body camera angles were used in reviewing the incident. 'I believe that incidents like this justify our investment in body worn cameras and the importance of getting all the facts,' DeLeo said in a video released on the Police Department’s official Facebook page. The video released by the Tallahassee police shows the original video that went viral, followed by a statement from DeLeo about the incident. It ends with the body camera footage. On Thursday afternoon, Chad M. Bom, 34, and James W. McMullen, 38, were charged with theft from a Bealls Outlet store in Tallahassee, according to the news release posted on the Police Department’s Facebook page. Both men were charged with petit theft, the Democrat reported. The mother of the toddler was at the scene Police had responded to reports of a theft by an armed suspect at the Bealls shopping outlet around 4:30 p.m. and pulled over a truck. They were surprised when the toddler got out and began to mimic her parents, WCTV reported. 'It's OK, sweetie. You don't have to put your hands up,' one officer can be heard saying in the body camera footage. Footage also showed the police allowing the child’s mother to hold the baby while they found a pellet gun in the back seat of the vehicle near a 1-year-old boy who was still strapped into his car seat, WCTV reported. DeLeo said he was 'proud' of his officers' response, adding he felt they showed compassion for the family. “This video footage captures the compassion demonstrated by our TPD officers during an intense situation. I’m very proud of their actions and appreciative of the work these men and women do each day to keep our community safe,” Tallahassee Mayor John Dailey said in a statement. 
  • Two people were injured Sunday night after a police car struck them as they lay in a Florida roadway, apparently to watch the lunar eclipse, according to multiple reports. >> Read more trending news The incident happened just before midnight Sunday near the Apoxee Trail, a 2.5-mile nature trail in West Palm Beach, according to WPBF and city officials. A police officer was patrolling the trail Sunday in a Ford Explorer when he struck a man and a woman, both 24, while traveling 5 mph, WPEC and WPBF reported. At the time, the area was extremely dark, according to officials. Police told WPBF that investigators believe the pair was lying in the road to photograph and watch the super blood wolf moon lunar eclipse. They were taken to a hospital with injuries that did not appear to be life-threatening, according to the news station. The officer who struck the pair, who was not identified, was placed on paid administrative leave as police investigate the incident, WPEC reported. Authorities continue to investigate.