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Judge tosses suit claiming botched circumcision

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — A judge threw out a lawsuit filed by an Alabama man who claims a botched circumcision resulted in the amputation of his penis, ruling Thursday that the complaint wasn't specific under state malpractice law. Jefferson County Circuit Judge Jim Hughey III ruled after a brief hearing that the suit filed Johnny Lee Banks Jr. and his wife lacked sufficient details but could be filed again to include specific times and dates of alleged actions. Banks, 59, has numerous health problems including diabetes that have led to the amputation of his legs. He left the courtroom in tears in a wheelchair after talking with his lawyer, John Graves. "It's a terrible, terrible tragedy what my client has gone through," Graves told the judge. The judge gave the man 30 days to file an amended lawsuit, which Graves said he planned to do. Banks and his wife last month sued Princeton Baptist Medical Center in Birmingham plus Drs. Michael Bivins and Alan Aikens and their employers. Banks alleges that he awoke from what was supposed to be a routine circumcision in June to realize his penis was gone. Attorneys for the doctors and hospital contend the medical procedure alleged in the suit never happened and predicted the lawsuit will be dismissed again if Banks pursues the claim. The defense filed sworn statements from two nurses who said Banks had a circumcision at the hospital in February, months before he claimed in the suit, but there was no record of any amputation. Mike Florie, an attorney representing the doctors, said Banks has "massive health problems" including diabetes, kidney failure and heart disease. The circumcision in February resulted from circulatory problems linked to diabetes but wasn't performed by either of the doctors named in Banks' suit, Florie said. "The surgery that's alleged simply never took place," said Florie. The hospital's lawyer, Jay Juliano, said the suit had smeared the name of the medical center and requested records only days before filing the complaint. Graves said he now has as many as 4,000 pages of medical records but could file a revamped lawsuit quickly. The defense also is seeking professional sanctions against Banks' lawyer for filing what it claims is a frivolous lawsuit, but the judge said the request was premature.

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