Don Korman, of Bazinsky, Korman, Baker, told the jury that Mr. Hootnick reported to the emergency room with a high fever and an infected foot blister. After Mr. Hootnick was admitted, said Mr. Korman, a popliteal aneurysm stopped bloodflow to his left leg. The failure to rapidly diagnose and treat the aneurism, according to Mr. Korman, resulted in the unnecessary amputation of Mr. Hootnick's leg. When he checked into the emergency room, Mr. Hootnick had complete motion in his foot and no pain in his leg.
For the defense, Rose Marie Antonacci-Pollock, of Falk Waas, told the jury that Mr. Hootnick didn't just have a little fever and an infected blister. Instead, Mr. Hootnick had 104.2 fever resulting from a raging infection that had started in the foot, traveled up the leg, and was so virulent that it had become septic. Sepsis, Ms. Antonacci-Pollock explained, is a poisoning of the blood that, if allowed to progress, can and will lead to death. Mr. Hootnick also had manifestations of sepsis: disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) and eschemia in his leg. If Dr. Wideroff had done anything different, said Ms. Antonacci-Pollock, Mr. Hootnick would have died. Therefore, Dr. Wideroff was right not to perform "cowboy surgery" on a critically ill man.