A Roseburg man is seeking $900,000 from a local podiatrist who he said botched his medical care, resulting in the loss of two toes.

Blake Rice filed a personal injury complaint in Douglas County Circuit Court last month against podiatrist G. Jason Wilks last month. Rice, who is represented by Portland attorney Kristen West McCall, is asking that the matter go to trial.

Wilks, who works out of the Harvard Medical Park at 1813 W. Harvard Ave., has not formally responded to the complaint.

According to the complaint, Rice underwent surgery, performed by Wilks, at Mercy Medical Center on Sept. 5, 2019. The surgery was to remove a bunion on Rice’s right foot, also known as a bunionectomy. Prior to and at the time of the procedure, Rice was a high risk for complications due to controlled diabetes, cardiac and vascular disease, and other ailments.

Following the surgery, Rice developed new pain and swelling, which continued for several weeks. Wilks examined Rice’s foot on Sept. 9, did laser treatments on Sept. 11, and examined the foot again on Sept. 19. On Sept. 24, Wilks prescribed oral antibiotics and examined Rice’s foot again, which was “continuing to swell, was dusky, infected and non-healing,” according to the complaint.

Wilks examined Rice’s foot again on Sept. 27, Oct. 7, Oct. 9 and Oct. 10, 2019, according to the complaint.

On Oct. 25, Dr. Daniel C. Fitzpatrick performed surgery to address the “non-healing, infected, necrotic wound on the right foot.” That surgery included amputation of two of Rice’s toes.

According to the complaint, Wilks was negligent in his care and treatment of Rice in a half-dozen ways, including performing the bunionectomy on Sept. 5, 2019, without and before consulting with a vascular specialist or foot and ankle orthopedic physician, failing to perform the necessary testing to determine the viability of healing after the elective bunionectomy.

The complaint also claims Wilks failed to order vascular studies on Sept. 19, 2019, and on every day thereafter until vascular studies were ordered on Oct. 9, and failed to send Rice to the emergency room on Sept. 19, and on every day thereafter until the plaintiff obtained medical intervention, and especially on Oct. 9, after the vascular studies were obtained.

Instead, the complaint says Wilks treated the infection with oral antibiotics on Sept. 24, which gave the illusion of temporary improvement and was not reasonably sufficient treatment to address the level of infection then apparent.

As a result of the injuries he suffered, “Rice has been rendered sick, sore, nervous and distressed, has suffered permanent injury and loss of enjoyment of life, and will continue to suffer pain and loss of enjoyment of life in the future,” the complaint said.

Rice is seeking $800,000 for those noneconomic damages.

He is seeking another $100,000 for his medical costs, which include hospital, doctor, therapy, nursing, and rehabilitation expenses to date. Rice is also seeking additional medical expenses, which will be determined by the time of the trial.

Wilks referred any comments to his Portland attorney, David C. Campbell. Campbell said he does not comment on pending litigation.

Scott Carroll can be reached at scarroll@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4204. Or follow him on Twitter @scottcarroll15.

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(3) comments

Cary Sanders

Wretched722 is absolutely correct. The problem with this article is that it can’t be objective because the physician and his attorney legally CAN’T divulge confidential patient information as a rebuttal. In other words, when the author says we called and no one commented, it’s because they legally can’t comment.

Every person recognizes that all these situations have more than one side to the story. Yet NR chose to smear this very good, attentive doctor’s reputation in a way that he legally cannot defend himself. Very poor form! The way to properly handle this is to wait until it has been legally adjudicated and then NR can report both sides not just one. This leaves a caring professional in our community defenseless against a public smear article.

Julieanna

As a reply to "Wretched...", the journalist did report that the Dr. (Wilkes) had not formally responded to the Complaint. Additionally, the journalist reported at the end that the Atty. for Wilkes had no comment during pending litigation. Maybe the journalist could have waited for a formal public Court-filed Answer, then written the article telling the Dr.'s side in the Answer doc, too.

However, overall I think this was a very well written article.

Wretched722

This newspaper does a grave dis-service to this physician by only printing one side of this story. It would bias a jury from the beginning. Very bad journalism!

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