Defense counsel wants venue transfer, plaintiffs seeking to add outside counsel in circumcision defect case

By Nicholas Malfitano | Oct 21, 2015

Lee B. Balefsky  

PHILADELPHIA – Motions for preliminary objections and pro hac vice admissions for counsel are on the table in a product liability case, centered on a young boy who allegedly suffered permanent injuries during a circumcision procedure.

Defense counsel Megan E. Grossman filed a motion for preliminary objections on July 14, seeking the lawsuit filed by Benjamin Hoekstra and his mother Victoria Hoekstra of Garden Grove, Calif,. against West Chester defendants Misdom-Frank Corporation, Sklar Corporation and Medco Group, Inc., to be moved to Chester County.

Since the defendants are based in Chester County, Grossman argued that was the only appropriate venue. Though the Hoekstras have dropped claims of negligent infliction of emotional distress and breach of express warranty, Grossman also challenged the legal sufficiency of the plaintiffs’ remaining claims, including those for punitive damages.

Three months later, plaintiff attorney Lee B. Balefsky filed a pair of motions for pro hac vice admission on Oct. 7, seeking to add Daniel K. Balaban and Andrew J. Spielberger of Balaban & Spielberger in Los Angeles as fellow counsel.

Balefsky said Balaban and Spielberger are both in good standing and able to practice in California courts, have obtained pro hac vice admission in the state of New Jersey and have agreed to comply with Pennsylvania’s Rules of Professional Conduct.

A hearing in this matter was set for this past Monday in Court chambers, at Philadelphia City Hall.

According to the lawsuit, Benjamin Hoekstra was born on March 19, 2010 in Oxnard, Calif. and circumcised one week later. During the procedure, the tip of Hoekstra’s genitals was amputated, allegedly due to the defective nature of a device designed and marketed by the defendants called the Mogen Clamp. The suit states Hoekstra sustained permanent injury and will require future corrective surgeries.

The plaintiffs say the Mogen Clamp only accounts for a small percentage of the market for medical devices assisting in circumcision, but allegedly accounts for the majority of penile amputations, with more than 20 reports made to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) this year.

The suit states the Mogen Clamp’s defects include no protection for the head of the genitals, and the design of the device leaving doctors unable to see the head of the genitals when applying the scalpel to the foreskin.

However, the plaintiffs claim the defendants have not changed the product design, suppressed the information and failed to share it with both healthcare providers and patients, despite alleged awareness of these defects.

The plaintiffs are suing for strict liability – defective manufacture and design, strict liability – failure to warn, negligence, negligent misrepresentation, breach of implied warranty and gross negligence. 

The plaintiffs are seeking a sum, jointly and severally, in excess of $50,000, plus compensatory damages, punitive damages, costs and other relief.

The plaintiffs are represented by Lee B. Balefsky of Kline & Specter, in Philadelphia.

The defendants are represented by Megan E. Grossman and Kim N. Nguyen of Segal McCambridge Singer & Mahoney, also in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 150402154

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at

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