Indiana jury awards more than $11 million to Michigan man and wife over man’s amputated leg


ELKHART, Ind. (AP) — An Indiana jury has awarded more than $11 million to a Michigan man and his wife who accused a doctor of failing to diagnose a painful limb issue, leading to the amputation of one of the man’s legs.

The couple’s civil suit alleged that Dr. James Shoemaker Jr. failed to diagnose a critical limb ischemia in Mychajlo Hajdaj’s right leg in January 2015, causing delayed treatment that ultimately resulted in an above-the-knee amputation of his right leg. Critical limb ischemia is a blockage of the arteries in the lower extremities.

Shoemaker, Elkhart General Hospital and Elkhart Emergency Physicians Inc. denied the allegations. Elkhart Emergency Physicians Inc. said the state Medical Review Panel unanimously determined that the physicians organization met the appropriate standard of care.

But on Monday, following a five-day trial, an Elkhart County jury ruled against Shoemaker and Elkhart Emergency Physicians Inc. and awarded $6.2 million to Mychajlo Hajdaj and $5 million to his wife, Lidia, The Elkhart Truth reported.

Hajdaj, who was 72 and employed at the time of the amputation, had to stop working and was forced into a more sedentary lifestyle, according to the Cassopolis, Michigan, couple’s suit.

“During the trial, Mr. Hajdaj, now 81 years old, testified that he wouldn’t trade his leg for $10 million,” said Nick Otis, the attorney who represented the couple.

A message seeking comment on the jury’s decision was left Thursday for an attorney who represented both Shoemaker and Elkhart Emergency Physicians Inc. at trial.