Michigan Man and Wife Awarded $11 Million in Medical Malpractice Lawsuit After Doctor Fails to Diagnose Critical Limb Issue

Elkhart, Indiana – In a recent verdict, an Indiana jury awarded more than $11 million to a Michigan man and his wife over claims that a doctor failed to diagnose a painful limb issue, which ultimately led to the amputation of the man’s leg. The couple’s civil suit accused Dr. James Shoemaker Jr. of failing to identify critical limb ischemia in the man’s right leg, resulting in delayed treatment and the need for an above-the-knee amputation.

Critical limb ischemia refers to a blockage in the arteries of the lower extremities. Dr. Shoemaker, Elkhart General Hospital, and Elkhart Emergency Physicians Inc. denied the allegations throughout the proceedings. Nevertheless, following a five-day trial, an Elkhart County jury ruled against them and awarded $6.2 million to the man, Mychajlo Hajdaj, and $5 million to his wife, Lidia.

The impact of the amputation on Mr. Hajdaj’s life was significant. At the time of the amputation, he was 72 years old and employed. However, the loss of his leg forced him to stop working and adopt a more sedentary lifestyle. Despite the financial compensation awarded, Mr. Hajdaj’s attorney, Nick Otis, shared that during the trial, Mr. Hajdaj, now 81, testified that he wouldn’t trade his leg for $10 million.

The case raises questions about the standards of care provided by medical professionals and the need for accurate and timely diagnoses. The physician’s organization, Elkhart Emergency Physicians Inc., stated that the state Medical Review Panel found no fault in their actions and determined that they met the appropriate standard of care. However, the jury’s ruling suggests otherwise.

The verdict serves as a reminder of the potential consequences of medical negligence and the lasting impact it can have on individuals and their families. The awarded damages aim to provide some compensation for the pain, suffering, and life-altering changes experienced by Mr. Hajdaj and his wife.

As of now, there has been no comment from the attorney who represented Dr. Shoemaker and Elkhart Emergency Physicians Inc. during the trial regarding the jury’s decision. The outcome of this case may prompt further examination of medical practices and contribute to ongoing discussions about patient care and accountability within the healthcare system.