Woman’s lawsuit alleges doctor who practices in La Jolla used own sperm for artificial insemination


A San Diego County woman alleges in a lawsuit that a local physician she consulted for fertility issues used his own sperm to artificially inseminate her, which was discovered only after her adult son took a DNA test decades later.

The suit, filed Sept. 16 in San Diego County Superior Court on behalf of Beverly Willhelm, alleges that Dr. Phillip Milgram told her the sperm was from an anonymous physician colleague whose sperm samples had helped several women become pregnant.

According to the suit, Willhem’s son, James Mallus, now 32, received a DNA kit for Christmas and through the test discovered that Milgram was his biological father.

Mallus said he “expected to learn something new and exciting about who I am when I took this test. But instead I learned something that’s revolting.”

Calls to Milgram’s Carlsbad addiction treatment center were unanswered. Milgram also is an attending physician at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla. His LinkedIn page says he is a former assistant clinical professor and clinical instructor at UC San Diego Medical Center.

His attorney, David Rosenberg, told NBC7: “There’s no comment until we get a chance to do discovery. These are serious allegations — I don’t know the veracity of truth to any of them. We’re going to be diligent and thorough in our defense and try to sort out what the truth is.”

A representative of UCSD Health told the La Jolla Light that she was looking into whether Milgram had had an appointment there.

Scripps Health, emphasizing that it is not a party to the lawsuit, said in a statement to the Light that “all members of the medical staff undergo a reappointment process every two years in which their professional competence and conduct are evaluated.”

The Scripps Health website says Milgram was certified by the American Board of Obstetrics & Gynecology in 1995.

According to the Medical Board of California website, Milgram was disciplined by the board in 1999 after facing allegations of unprofessional conduct in his use of drugs and/or alcohol, along with negligence, excessive treatment, failure to maintain accurate records and incompetence. He surrendered his license. The following year, his medical license in Nevada was revoked and he surrendered his license in New York, according to medical board records.

He got his California license back in 2004, with a probationary period and other requirements, records show.

“California reissued Dr. Milgram a license to practice medicine after a full and fair hearing ... under terms of probation,” the Scripps Health statement said. “In 2008, that probation was lifted and Dr. Milgram has practiced without any reported issue since that time. Dr. Milgram joined the Scripps La Jolla medical staff in 2012.”

A hearing in the lawsuit is tentatively set for May 7 at the Hall of Justice in San Diego. ◆