From November 1996 to February 2000 defendant podiatrist had treated Ronald Vice in connection with diabetic foot ulcers. Vice alleged that defendant’s lack of treatment, patient education and diagnostic studies led to bilateral, below-the-knee amputations.
The plaintiffs alleged that defendant failed to recognize the seriousness of a diabetic foot ulcer, and refer the patient to a vascular surgeon, order vascular and arterial pressure studies and make proper assessments of right foot wounds while attempting to treat the left foot. Other allegations included failures to order antibiotics, blood work, x-rays, MRIs, bone scan, CBC, metabolic panel, sedimentation rate and serum protein with albumin; moreover, the plaintiffs asserted that defendant had failed to hospitalize plaintiff, and inform him of the seriousness of potential leg loss. The plaintiffs further argued defendant failed to perform incision and drainage procedures with deep debridement and order bone and soft tissue biopsies and wound cultures.
According to a medical review panel opinion dated Feb. 10, 2003, the medical review panel found evidence supported the conclusion that defendant had failed to meet the appropriate standard of care as charged in the plaintiffs' complaint. However, the panel found defendant's conduct was not a factor in the plaintiffs' resulting damages. Moreover, the panel determined evidence did not support the conclusion defendant had failed to meet the appropriate standard of care.
In their answer, the defendants generally denied the plaintiffs' allegations. By way of affirmative defense, the defendants argued Vice had been contributorily negligent and had incurred the risk of a known danger. The podiatrist, in denying negligence, asserted Vice had suffered from several other medical conditions besides foot ulcers, including uncontrolled diabetes, congestive heart failure, coronary artery disease, hypertension, renal insufficiency and peripheral vascular disease. Defendant contended her care and treatment met or exceeded the applicable standard of care in all respects.
Result: Defendant’s verdict
Plaintiff’s Experts: Stephen G. Lalka, MD; Michael A. Salcedo, DPM, South Bend, IN; Robert E. Clemency, MD, South Bend, IN.; Sheree L. Peglow, MD, South Bend, IN; Stephen F. Mitros, MD, South Bend, IN; Charles E. Petersen, MD, South Bend, IN; R. Gregory Credi, MD, South Bend, IN.
Defendant’s Experts: Maria F. Curfman, MD, Fort Wayne, IN; Bruce L. Gewertz, MD, Los Angeles, CA; Michelle Cervin, DO, South Bend, IN; Daniel E. Scherb, MD, South Bend, IN; Frank C. Toepp, DPM, South Bend, IN; Jeff Niespodziany, DPM, Mishawaka, IN; Theodore A. Vorenkamp, DPM, South Bend, IN; Brian Rolfe, DPM, South Bend, IN; William Fox, DPM, Niles, MI; Nelson Worden, DPM, Mishawaka, IN; John Grady, DPM, Oak Lawn, IL, Thomas Wicks, DPM, New Castle, IN; Richard M. Hilker, DPM, Fort Wayne, IN.; Randolph J. Ferlic, MD, South Bend, IN; Bruce J. Brincko, DPM, Knox, IN.
Source: West's Jury Verdicts - Indiana Reports