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Hill v. James C. Woodiel, M.D.

A jury verdict of $700,000 in Hill v. James C. Woodiel, M.D., a case where a 23 year old man died after his family practice doctor failed to recognize he was experiencing a medical emergency called sepsis (i.e. a whole body infection). Instead, the doctor diagnosed the Plaintiff with back pain and told him to return in two days. Unfortunately, the Plaintiff ultimately died about 24 hours later of the sepsis that the doctor failed to recognize.

At trial, three expert physicians – two family practice doctors and an infectious disease doctor – testified on behalf of the Plaintiff. These three experts agreed that Dr. Woodiel failed to recognize the severity of the Plaintiff’s condition, and that the Plaintiff would have lived had Dr. Woodiel sent him to the hospital. In response, Dr. Woodiel retained two expert witnesses to testify that he acted appropriately in recommending followup in the office, and that any errors in care were made in Kentucky. However, upon cross examination at trial, one of Dr. Woodiel’s experts actually agreed with the Plaintiff’s theory of the case that Dr. Woodiel breached the standard of care in caring for the Plaintiff during the office visit.

Bo Bolus and Nick Naiser tried this case for 6 days in front of a Clark County, Indiana jury. After six hours of deliberation, the jury unanimously found in favor of the Plaintiff and awarded her $690,000 in damages for her loss of consortium and $10,000 in damages for funeral expenses.