Rabbi Mordechai Rosenberg, a Pittsburgh mohel who was sued last month for allegedly causing an infant “a catastrophic and life-changing injury” during a 2013 bris, has filed his answer to the complaint in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County.
In his answer, which was filed Jan. 6, Rosenberg denied most of the allegations contained in the complaint, including that he “acted with negligence, carelessness and/or recklessness” in causing the injury to the baby; that he failed “to exercise appropriate caution when using the instruments necessary to perform a Bris Milah”; and that he chose “to employ a technique that placed the Bris Milah instruments in a position wherein they were capable of causing serious injury” to the baby.
Rosenberg also denied that he suffered from an impairment that he “knew or should have known would have prevented him from being capable of safely performing the Bris Milah.”
The names of the infant and his parents do not appear in the court documents.
The suit, which was filed Dec. 17, stems from an April 28, 2013, bris in the county, after which the infant was rushed to Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC where he was reportedly treated for a massive blood loss.
Paula Koczan, an attorney with the firm of Weber Gallagher, is representing Rosenberg. The firm has not spoken to the Chronicle, citing its policy not to comment on pending cases.
The family’s attorney, Neil Rosen, has said the case was not intended to become a debate on circumcision. Nevertheless, it has spurred considerable online commentary, much of it harsh, criticizing the practice.
But circumcision remains recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics,
“Evaluation of current evidence indicates that the health benefits of newborn male circumcision outweigh the risks, and the benefits of newborn male circumcision justify access to this procedure for those families who choose it,” according a 2012 report by the Academy’s Task Force on Circumcision.