SHERIDAN — Technical medical terminology took up the entirety of day two of the civil jury trial for Neal and Anita Schuman against Sheridan Memorial Hospital for alleged negligence and medical malpractice.
The second day of trial began with the completion of Neal Schuman’s testimony, cross-examination by the defense and redirect by Schuman’s attorney. Schuman’s daughter, Lorri Lutterman, then took the stand.
The testimonies of Schuman and Lutterman repeatedly referred to the lack of attention on apparent swelling and discomfort of Schuman’s pelvic region after undergoing knee surgery July 27, 2015, at SMH. Attorney Drake Hill had his client and Lutterman explain how, because of medical complications following the knee surgery, the quality of life for Schuman and his wife had declined.
Schuman received multiple surgeries to remove tissue from open wounds in and around his pelvis area and specifically the rectum so they could heal. Because of the destruction of his rectum, medical professionals completed diverted colostomy surgery. The 80-year-old man now lives with a colostomy bag. The plaintiff claims the colostomy could have been prevented if medical professionals at SMH would have tended to his swollen pelvis before it became an emergency.
Schuman explained during questioning that he now visits and tends to his ranch physically about 66 percent less than he did before the surgery. Schuman and his wife also used to travel, but because of Anita Schuman’s dementia and now the colostomy bag, he does not feel comfortable doing many social activities. Lutterman confirmed those facts and emphasized the lack of care given to Schuman’s swollen pelvis and the poor bedside manner of a physician overseeing Schuman’s care.
Defense attorney Scott Ortiz pushed Schuman on his communication with staff regarding his groin pain, swelling and fluid trapping in that area. Ortiz also dug into Schuman’s claim for disintegrating quality of life issues, questioning both Schuman and Lutterman’s claims that it was the colostomy bag that changed everything. Ortiz inquired about how Anita Schuman’s dementia played into the Schumans’ quality of life.
The third witness to take the stand was the plaintiff’s expert chief medical officer Jeffrey Selwyn out of Tucson, Arizona. For the past 40 years, Selwyn has traveled around the country reviewing cases and testifying. Hill’s questioning of Selwyn consisted of explaining medical terms and how they may or may not have contributed to the degradation of Schuman’s condition while at SMH.
Unless no further questions are necessary, Hill will wrap up his questioning with Selwyn to begin day three Wednesday before defense begins cross-examination.
One additional witness will testify and five more may be called to testify for the plaintiff. Defense counsel has listed 14 witnesses who may or may not all testify before the judge and jury.