04/18/08 10:30AM
Hayes, Charles R.              
Civil Case Mana
D)Allen B Nalbandian MD    
Attorney: Gregory W.
P)Duff Mallory              
Attorney VIRGINIA C.

San Diego            
Date Filed: 10/09/2007
CU-MM Medical Malpractice

MALLORY           DUFF           
NATHALIE T             

SAMUEL MD            
SAMUELS MD            
ENGEVIK MD            
RUSSELL W             
PATEL MD            ROBERT
GROUP INC              

04/18/08 10:30AM      
Hayes, Charles R.              
Civil Case Mana
D)Kaiser Foundation
Health  Attorney JAMES J
D)Kaiser Foundation
Hospita JAMES J
P)Nathalie T
Nguyen-Mallory VIRGINIA
C. NELSON       
Health D
Atty. Sheila S. Trexler        
D)Robert K Patel, M.D.      
D)Russell W Engevik MD      
Atty. Sheila S. Trexler        
D)Samuel C Kim MD           
Atty. JAMES A.
D)Southern California
D)Valley Radiology
M.D.       JEFFREY
San Diego Central courthouse (Hall of


37-2010-00094150-CU-BC-CTL          KAISER
PERMANENTE           BOMMARITO, MARTHA           San
Diego           Civil           06/14/2010

37-2010-00094087-CU-WT-CTL          KAISER
PERMANENTE           ZAMBRANO, TERESA           San
Diego           Civil           06/11/2010

37-2010-00086095-CL-OE-CTL          KAISER
PERMANENTE           PROCOPIO, VINCENT           San
Diego           Civil           02/23/2010

37-2010-00084297-CU-MM-CTL          KAISER
PERMANENTE           ROWLAND, SHELBY           San
Diego           Civil           01/26/2010

37-2009-00099758-CL-R3-CTL          KAISER
INC           San Diego           Civil           10/02/2009

37-2009-00099232-CU-PO-CTL          KAISER
PERMANENTE           BLAKELY, ROBERT G           San
Diego           Civil           09/29/2009

37-2010-00103414-CU-PO-CTL          KAISER
FELIX SR, ELISA           San Diego           Civil           

North County
Case Number:           
37-2010-00053772-CU-PO-NC            Case
Location:         North County            
Case Type:         Civil           
Date Filed:         04/16/2010
Category:         CU-PO         
PI/PD/WD - Other

Last Name or Business
Name           First
Name           Primary (P)  
PEGGY            P  

Last Name or Business
Name           First
Name           Primary (P)  
PERMANENTE                       P  

East County

37-2010-00021788-SC-SC-EC          KAISER
ZLOTNICK, HOWARD A           East County           
Civil           11/02/2010
37-2009-00065295-CU-PO-EC          KAISER
HUMMUCK, DONNA           East County           
Civil           04/02/2009
37-2009-00022863-SC-SC-EC          KAISER
KEHL JR, GEORGE           East County           
Civil           12/14/2009

South County


Date Filed:         04/01/2010
CU-BCW         Breach of




37-2010-00076332-CU-BC-SC          KAISER
HEALTH NET INC           South County           Civil           
37-2010-00075915-CU-BC-SC          KAISER
HEALTH NET INC           South County           Civil           
37-2010-00076478-CU-BC-SC          KAISER
South County           Civil           04/01/2010
37-2010-00076332-CU-BC-SC          KAISER
South County           Civil           04/08/2010
37-2010-00075915-CU-BC-SC          KAISER
South County           Civil           03/12/2010
37-2010-00075915-CU-BC-SC          KAISER
South County           Civil           03/12/2010
Kaiser Permanente lawsuits & arbitrations
Doctor admits to perjury in trial of man he sponsored in
drug rehab
Heather Knight
San Francisco Chronicle
November 2, 2007

A San Francisco surgeon has pleaded guilty to perjury, admitting he lied under
oath in an effort to get a man he had sponsored in a drug rehabilitation program off the
hook for gun charges.

Bruce Barker, who remains a physician for Kaiser Permanente, was the key
witness in the 2002 trial of Marvin Washington, a felon accused of illegally possessing a
gun outside his home in San Francisco's Holly Courts public housing project.

Prosecutors said a security officer at the housing project reported hearing gunshots at
5 p.m. on May 1, 2002, and saw Washington running with a gun. Police officers
responded to the scene and found a semiautomatic pistol on the ledge outside
Washington's kitchen window and found a substance on his hands that tested positive
for gunshot residue.

But Barker testified at length that he had been visiting Washington at the time and that
he had been carrying a cell phone, not a gun. Barker had sponsored Washington in an
organization he called Men in Motion.

"I know he's innocent," Barker testified. "I was there. I saw this. I know he's innocent."

Prosecutors said Barker's account was impossible because the doctor had been
performing surgery at the time - 4 miles away at the Kaiser Permanente Medical Center
on Geary Boulevard. Hospital records showed he'd been working in the
Post-Anesthesia Care Unit until 5:35 p.m. that day.

Washington's trial ended when he pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a
firearm and carrying a gun with an altered serial number. A judge sentenced
Washington to more than eight years in prison.

The FBI began an investigation into Barker's testimony. A federal grand jury indicted
him last year on three counts of perjury and one count of making a false statement to
law enforcement.

Barker pleaded guilty to one count of perjury on Wednesday, admitting he knowingly
and intentionally provided false testimony in Washington's trial.

The sentencing of Barker is scheduled for 11 a.m. Feb. 8 He faces a maximum of five
years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Barker is not in custody pending sentencing.

Kaiser spokeswoman Meg Walker said, "Dr. Barker does practice here at Kaiser
Permanente in San Francisco, and we are reviewing this latest development."
State Faults Kaiser Doctors
Revisiting the case of a woman whose cancer was misdiagnosed, medical
regulators decide to censure five more physicians.
By Debora Vrana
Los Angeles Times
November 22, 2005

The Medical Board of California, reversing an earlier position, has decided to
publicly censure all six Kaiser Permanente doctors involved in the
death of a Woodland Hills woman
whose case has
sparked a debate about state oversight of California's largest HMO.
Mirrored at: http://www.kaiserpapers.org/kaiserstillwontobeythelaw.html
Simi Valley woman wants daughter’s doctors publicy
named for misdiagnoses
By Michelle Knight
Simi Valley Acorn

Hillarie Levy is on a mission.

In 2002, her daughter Robyn Libitsky was granted an arbitration award of nearly $1
million after suing Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and several of its doctors because they
misdiagnosed her medical condition.

Kaiser physicians treated Libitsky for five months in 1999 for back and muscle pain. It
turned out she had a rare cancer known as Ewing’s sarcoma. She died earlier this year
but not before winning the arbitration award.

Ever since, Levy has been on a crusade to have the Medical Board of California note on
its website every Kaiser doctor named in the arbitration award. They did so for only one
of the doctors named in the document.

The Simi Valley resident has written numerous letters to the board and Kaiser, has
appeared on TV and called a state senator for help. So far, she’s been unsuccessful in
her attempts.

By law, the medical board is to make public the names and licenses of doctors against
whom an arbitration award is granted. The same goes for the Department of Managed
Health Care (DMHC), which regulates health plan companies such as Kaiser.

Lyn Randolph, a spokeswoman for DMHC, said they post arbitration awards on their
website, minus the names of the health plan, physicians and patient, only as a way for
consumers to find out about the type of complaints lodged against health plans and the
arbitrators involved in the case.

“(Legislators) did not intend that this was a posted place for judgments against the health
plans,” Randolph said. “You have to know the intent of the legislature . . . (which was to)
use arbitration decisions as a resource for going through other arbitration decisions.”

For physicians, the law requires one of several sources to notify the medical board of
arbitration awards. They are the insurance companies, the doctor or their attorney or the
plantiff’s attorney, if the medical board hasn’t been informed by one of the other sources.

In Libitsky’s case, Kaiser notified the medical board of the award and gave them the
name of only one doctor, said Candis Cohen, medical board spokeswoman.

The medical board nonetheless is aware of the other Kaiser doctors who treated Libitsky.
Cohen, however, refused to disclose how the board knows of them or to give their names.

After an investigation into Libitsky’s case, the medical board closed the case and didn’t
discipline any of the doctors because of “insufficient evidence of wrongdoing,” Cohen said

The medical board uses a higher standard, she said, than what’s used in civil matters
when determining whether a doctor acted improperly and should be disciplined. By law
the board must weigh whether the evidence is “clear and convincing to a reasonable
Civil matters only need a “preponderance” of the evidence, meaning a
51 percent certainty. The higher standard carries an 80 to 90 percent certainty,

Cohen said.

Levy remains undeterred in remission to see that the public knows about all of
the doctors who misdiagnosed her daughter. She’s contacted about a dozen
others who say Kaiser physicians misdiagnosed their loved ones too. Two of
those contacted, Sheree Levy (no relation to Hillarie) and Tracie Breiter, both of
Simi Valley, appeared with Levy on KEYT-TV last month to tell their stories.

Breiter’s dad died within four months of being diagnosed with cancer
. She said
up until then, Kaiser doctors attributed his back pain to aging, and when a lump on his
neck appeared, they treated him with antibiotics. She hasn’t sought legal action. A doctor
at a Kaiser emergencroom misdiagnosed Sheree Levy’86-year-old mother,
BernicBarthoff, after she fell. X-raywere taken, and Barthoff was told to go home and take
a pain reliever for her badly bruised hip. It was discovered later that she had a fractured
hip, but no one from the hospital called to tell her.

For three days, Barthoff stayed in a wheelchair because it was too painful to move to the
bed. When Sheree called her mother’s doctor, he found the X-rays and sent an
ambulance to pick her up and bring her to the hospital. She underwent surgery the
following day but died on the operating table.

Sheree has since talked to an attorney but was told she didn’t have a case. Because
Barthoff had health issues Levy didn’t know about, her death couldn’t directly be
attributed to the misdiagnosis, Sheree was told. “But she did suffer needlessly,” she said.

There’s also the case of Breanna Pflaumer of Moorpark. Her parents were told by
Kaiser doctors in 2003 that their 13-year-old daughter was underweight, undersized and
having headaches and backaches because of an eating disorder. After months of getting
nowhere with treatment and with Breanna then experiencing double vision, the Pflaumers
last December demanded an MRI be taken. The results showed a large brain tumor.
Breanna has since had surgery and chemotherapy. Her parents say she’s doing OK,
although she’s too susceptible to infection to go to school. Their experience with Kaiser
has shaken their faith.

“You just can’t trust the system anymore,” Terrie Pflaumer said.

Hillarie Levy has asked state Sen. George Runner (R-Antelope Valley) for help.

“I hope to get legislation for better oversight of the medical board and the Department of
Managed Health Care,” Levy said. “We’re going to get something done for all California
taxpayers . . . because if there isn’t someone needs to explain to California people why.”

Becky Warren, a spokeswoman for Runner, said they’re looking into what can be done
for Levy legislatively.

“We don’t know if anything can be done,” she said, “but it is being researched.”

Robyn Libitsky was just 29 when she died on Feb. 15, 2005. An alumna of Royal High
School and a graduate of the UC Santa Barbara, Libitsky had a bright future, friends say.

She had been accepted to law school and was working in the office of a Los Angeles
County supervisor. She eventually wanted to work in the district attorney’s office.

But the year before she was to enter law school, the pain in her back was
severe enough to send her to Kaiser’s urgent care. According to legal
documents, the doctor diagnosed her with back strain and prescribed pain

Two days later she returned. The pain was so severe, she told the doctor, she
couldn’t sleep at night. More pain medication was prescribed.

Legal documents show that over the next several months Libitsky went to
Kaiser doctors 12 more times with complaints of back pain. Each time she was
treated for muscle pain or a viral infection. She even made several trips to
physical therapy.

But Ewing’s sarcoma was the cause of Libitsky’s pain. According to the American Cancer
Society’s website, each year only about 150 people are diagnosed with the rare form of

Her diagnosis came on Jan. 7, 2000, about five months after her first trip to urgent care.
The documents say that by the time the diagnosis was made, the tumor had grown in size
and abutted Libitsky’s spinal canal. She underwent surgery to remove the mass and
three ribs. But not all of the cancer was removed; a second surgery took out part of her
diaphragm, more ribs and part of her spinal canal lining.

Libitsky sued Kaiser for the error its doctors made in diagnosing her.
Arbitrators found Kaiser and the six doctors who diagnosed Libitsky
negligent in May 2002.
June 8, 2006
Medicare warns Kaiser
on kidney care
Coverage at S.F. center is at risk
unless compliance with federal rules is
By Dorsey Griffith  
Sacramento Bee

The Medicare program has
threatened to halt coverage for all
end-stage kidney care at Kaiser
Permanente’s San Francisco
transplant center unless the health
plan can convince regulators it has
complied with federal regulations.

The Department of Health and Human
Services, which administers Medicare,
told Kaiser Foundation Health Plan
officials that they have until June 15 to
submit a corrective action plan or risk
losing coverage of kidney dialysis,
transplant and other renal failure

“There are a lot of services someone
with kidney failure requires,” said Jeff
Flick, regional administrator for the
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid
Services. “Sometimes they include a
transplant. Otherwise, they need
dialysis or related care. The funding for
all of that would stop.”

If Kaiser fails to demonstrate that it has
fixed the problems, Medicare coverage
will end Aug. 12, a move that would
force more than 1,000 kidney patients
who get services at the San Francisco
facility to seek Medicare-covered
treatment elsewhere.

“Obviously, we take this matter very
seriously,” said Matthew Schiffgens,
Kaiser’s issues management director.
“We are going to take all necessary
corrective actions to ensure that the
San Francisco transplant program is in
compliance with Medicare regulations
and that we can continue to care for our
patients during this transition period.”

The notice does not affect Medicare
coverage of other Kaiser Permanente
care, or the kidney speciality care
offered at other Northern California
Kaiser Permanente facilities.

The Medicare letter, which arrived one
month after an unannounced, five-day
federal inspection of the program, is
the latest in a series of regulatory
actions taken in recent weeks in
response to administrative bungling of
Kaiser’s 2-year-old transplant program.

News reports in early May detailed the
health plan’s missteps in transferring
hundreds of members from university
medical center transplant waiting lists
to their own, newly developed program
in San Francisco.

As a result of a state order and several
lawsuits, Kaiser then opted to
indefinitely suspend operations and
transfer its patients back to the
university centers.

Kaiser officials have said the transplant
center will remain operational until all
of its patients have successfully been
transferred to one of the university
centers. Doctors there have continued
to see kidney disease patients and
have performed several transplants as
organs have become available.

Sharon Inokuchi, Medical Director
Kaiser Transplant Center Specifically,
Medicare cited three areas where the
Kaiser program is out of compliance:
“governing body and management,”
“patients rights and responsibilities”
and “director of a renal transplantation

Flick would not elaborate on the areas
of concern, but said the health plan
also received a 50-page report
detailing the federal government’s
correction demands.

Schiffgens, of Kaiser, said the
concerns stemmed from administrative
problems, as well as difficulties
communicating with patients.

Many patients reportedly sat in limbo
during the transition to Kaiser’s own
transplant program, losing precious
time on the transplant waiting list. The
state has since helped orchestrate
transfer of the same and additional
patients back to either UC Davis or
UCSF kidney transplant programs.

Asked what effect the loss of Medicare
coverage would have on the existing
program, Schiffgens declined to

“We don’t anticipate anything but
coming into compliance with this,” he
Nonprofit health council sues Kaiser over medical
San Francisco Business Times
March 16, 2004

* Kaiser Permanente’s profits dip in 2010, but membership jumps by 99,000
* Kaiser Permanente promotes CIO Philip Fasano to EVP
* Kaiser Permanente names Bernard Tyson president/COO
* Kaiser Permanente donates $10.5M to Oakland schools, community programs

The California Consumer Health Care Council has sued the Kaiser Foundation over
what it says is inappropriate disclosure of private medical records.

The council contends that when Kaiser learns of a suit or potential suit by a patient, its
legal department opens and studies that patient's private medical records without
notifying the patient. This alleged review by Kaiser's legal department is inappropriate,
said the council, because Kaiser's legal employees have no role in the patient's health

"If a patient has a claim against Kaiser for negligently cutting off a little finger, why
should a clerk in Kaiser's legal department be able to review the patient's entire
medical file, which might include information on unrelated sexual, psychiatric or
personal problems ...?" asked Martin Blake, one of the lawyers who filed the suit in
Alameda County Superior Court for the council on Monday.

John Metz, the chairman of the council, said that Kaiser has put its own legal interests
above the protection of its patients' privacy. "It is just wrong," he said in a statement.

A spokeswoman for Kaiser said Tuesday that the organization's attorneys had not yet
seen the lawsuit, so she was unable to comment.
Kaiser Members Sue HMO Over Ads
Mar. 17, 1999

SAN FRANCISCO Members of one of the nation's largest HMOs have sued the
organization, claiming they were duped by ads that said its doctors weren't influenced by
financial concerns. The lawsuit contends Kaiser Permanente and its parent, The
Permanente Federation, compromised care with their policies. "Kaiser has gone beyond
the pale with its statements here that doctors make decisions based on medical need and
there's no fiscal interference," said Jamie Court of the nonprofit Foundation for Taxpayer
and Consumer Rights, which filed the proposed class-action lawsuit in Superior Court on
The lawsuit contends that Kaiser withheld up to 30% of doctors' salaries
and tied physician bonus pay and other compensation to reaching certain profit

Kaiser called the allegations "patently false."  [Hmmm.  See next story.]

Kaiser settles two lawsuits
Accused of holding back on care, the HMO will post its treatment guidelines.
Lisa Rapaport
The Sacramento Bee

Kaiser Permanente agreed to make public the treatment guidelines its
physicians follow and to disclose how they get paid as part of a settlement of
two lawsuits that accused the HMO of misrepresenting how decisions about
patient care were made.

Kaiser and three consumer groups that filed the suits jointly announced the settlement

Kaiser will post on its Web site the standards of care that its doctors consult to treat
conditions ranging from asthma to visual impairment. Kaiser officials said they did not
know how soon the information would be available on the site,

During the litigation process, Kaiser also agreed to improve efforts to link each HMO
member with a primary care physician and
to ensure that its call-center employees
do not receive financial incentives to limit or deny access to care.

The lawsuits were filed in 1999 in San Francisco Superior Court and stemmed, in part,
advertisements Kaiser ran in the late 1990s promoting itself as an HMO that
placed medical decisions "in the hands of doctors." At the time, consumer
groups and unions
accused Kaiser of giving its doctors and call-center workers
financial incentives to delay and deny care.

Kaiser and the consumer groups involved said they could not discuss all settlement
details, including whether the HMO admitted any wrongdoing or paid any money to
resolve the suits.

Even so, consumer advocates said all of California's 18 million HMO patients stand to gain
from the settlement terms.

"I think that other health plans will have to follow Kaiser and inform the public about their
clinical guidelines, their compensation of physicians, and their arrangements with
call-center employees who give medical advice and schedule appointments," said Jamie
Court, executive director of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights.

The foundation is one of the groups that sued Kaiser, along with Consumers for Quality
Care and the Steven Andrew Olsen Coalition for Patients' Rights.

Kaiser's pledge to post clinical and financial information online will give patients far more
information about the HMO than health plans are required to disclose under California
law, said Steven Fisher, spokesman for the state Department of Managed Health Care,
which regulates HMOs.

"We think this is a positive step towards patients having more information about how
health care works," Fisher said.

Among other things, one of the suits alleged that Kaiser had falsely advertised that only
its doctors - and not administrators - decided how to treat patients.

In ads that ran statewide,
Kaiser claimed, "There are no financial pressures to
prevent your physician from giving you the medical care you need. No one but
you and your doctor decides what's right for you. We don't have insurance
administrators to stand in the way of giving our members the finest medical care

In practice, however, the suit alleged that Kaiser tied a significant portion of
doctors' pay to meeting quotas to limit medical services and applied quotas for
doctors to reduce the number of patients hospitalized regardless of medical

Kaiser also faced accusations from union and consumer groups that its call-center
employees who scheduled appointments and gave medical advice in Northern California
had financial incentives to limit patients' access to care.

For most of 2000 and 2001, phone-service representatives at Kaiser call centers
in Sacramento, Vallejo and San Jose could earn a bonus of up to 10 percent of
their salary if they spent an average of less than three minutes, 45 seconds on
each patient call and made appointments for between 15 percent and 35 percent
of callers.

Since then, Kaiser has overhauled its call-center service in response to the criticism.

Bernard Tyson, senior vice president for Kaiser Foundation health plans and hospitals,
said in a prepared statement that it was "gratifying to turn conflict into a productive
collaboration with these important consumer groups."

"The goal of Kaiser Permanente is to work hand in hand with our members to continually
improve quality of care and service," Tyson said.

Kaiser has more than 6 million members in California.
November 24th, 2009
Valencia couple awarded $5 million against Kaiser
Kaiser Permanente Thrive Exposed

Courtesy of Vickie Travis of the Kaiser Papers:

Valencia Assistant Principal Timothy Howard and his wife Mary Howard were awarded $5 million
in a binding arbitration against Kaiser Healthcare. A panel of three arbitrators found that Kaiser
physicians were negligent for failing to timely work up Mr. Howard’s transient ischemic attacks
(TIA) of the retina which resulted in a devastating stroke and complications that included bilateral
amputations of the patient’s legs. “This is a flaw in the Kaiser system that I’ve seen over and over
again. Being in a hurry; not listening to the patient; not ordering tests,” said the Howards’ San
Diego attorney, Robert Vaage, who has never lost an arbitration against Kaiser. “How does Kaiser
expect you to ‘thrive’ if its doctors won’t follow common sense medicine?”

In October of 2007, Mr. Howard was a healthy 46-year-old, working at a middle school in Valencia.
He was married and had two twin daughters. He began having symptoms of intermittent “gray-out”
or blindness in his right eye. He saw his Kaiser primary care doctor, who referred him to an
ophthalmologist, who found no structural abnormalities of the eye. Mr. Howard continued to have
vision symptoms, with new complaints of headaches, neck pain, and tingling in his left pinky. At
the insistence of his wife, Mr. Howard was seen by Kaiser Neurologist Marika Issakhanian, M.D. It
was alleged that Dr. Issakhanian was in a hurry and not interested in hearing the concerns of Mr.
Howard and his wife. She diagnosed Mr. Howard with an ocular migraine headache, completely
ignoring the signs and symptoms of TIA of the retina. To placate the Howards, she ordered an MRI
and MRA (magnetic resonance angiography) of the head and neck, but not until December.

On Thanksgiving evening, Mr. Howard experienced complete vision loss in his right eye. He went
to Kaiser Woodland Hills Urgent Care. The doctor there told him he was experiencing an ocular
migraine, but agreed to run a CT scan in order to placate Mrs. Howard, who was insisting
something was wrong. While waiting for the scan results, Mr. Howard suffered a devastating
stroke. Kaiser emergency room doctors diagnosed a carotid dissection as causing the stroke.

Mr. Howard has not been able to return to work since the stroke. He has no use of his left arm and
has left-sided weakness. He is wheelchair-bound and needs assistance with all aspects of his
life. He also has cognitive and mental deficits from his stroke. He requires assistance 24 hours a
day, 7 days a week. His future care needs are estimated in the millions of dollars.

TIA of the retina is caused by intermittent disruption of blood flow to the eye, which causes the gray-
outs or visual disturbances. In men under the age of 60, the most likely cause is a carotid
dissection. It is diagnosed by MRI/MRA of the head and neck. Treatment for a carotid dissection
usually involves taking anticoagulation medication to prevent blood clots. The dissection or tear
usually repairs itself within 3-6 months, and the patient can return to a normal life. Left
undiagnosed and untreated, a carotid dissection can lead to a devastating stroke.

Kaiser’s electronic records also may have played a role in preventing Mr. Howard from obtaining
urgent scans. “Once he was diagnosed incorrectly, that diagnosis followed him from doctor to
doctor,” explained Vaage. “When he arrived at Urgent Care, the doctor looked at the E-record, saw
Dr. Issakhanian’s diagnosis, and accepted the diagnosis without further testing. That’s all fine and
good if you’ve got a good diagnosis.”

“I don’t get it,” added Vaage. “What happened to ruling out the worst potential cause first? Dr.
Issakhanian testified that she considered TIA of the retina, knew it could lead to a stroke, but did
nothing to rule it out at the time. All it took was one set of scans done within 24-48 hours, and Mr.
Howard would have been back to work as an assistant principal. Instead, the Howards’ lives are
forever changed.”

Because of the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA), the Howards’ general damages
(non-economic damages) are capped at $250,000 apiece. “The Howards’ lives have been
destroyed,” said Vaage. “Put in the context of healthcare reform, look at the cost to the public: We’
ve lost a hard-working member of society; we have to spend millions of dollars to care for Mr.
Howard; the state of California is ending up spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in
disability payments; and our health insurance premiums keep going up. The real cost of
healthcare is the cost related to the care of patients like Mr. Howard, not tort reform. Kaiser
completely failed him.”

For further information please contact:
Robert F. Vaage, Esq.
The Law Offices of Robert Vaage
110 West C St., Suite 2105
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 338-0505


Absolutely devastating. This story proves so many of the evils of Kaiser and why they need to be
put out of business. This clearly illustrates the high cost of bad care and why Kaisers business
model cannot work and should not work.

I am speechless.

Just this morning as I was having my morning coffee, another touchy-feely kaiser commercial
came on TV. It talks of how they are saving lives and saving trees with their electronic medical
records. We see what a jewel those are.

The reality of the situation, as demonstrated by this heart-wrenching story, makes me want to

Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Howard on your very rare win but I am sure you would rather have
your life as you knew it back. What is money when the quality of your life has been stripped away.
Bless You for all the pain and sheer hell Kaiser has put you through.

Beth Stover on November 24th, 2009

Congratulations to Tim and Mary I am so sorry for all the pain that kaiser has put you through.May
the Lord bless you and your family as you try to start over.There are no words to express how sad
this story is and what hell the family has gone through.I want to say congratulations to Robert
Vaage a job well done he put his heart in this case.I hope Kaiser can learn from this case so no
one else is hurt.Mrs Cheryl Pyle November 30th 2009

Cheryl Pyle on November 30th, 2009

Congratulations to Esquire Vaage for the free advertising supplied at the bottom of this vigniatte.

You and this site are truly are making our health care system better with these anecdotal tales of
terror. Of course the above outcome is horrible and devastating, but it is important to remember
that this is an exeption, not a rule. There is no such thing as perfection in medicine.

Rest assured, that if the above named patient went into renal failure from the contrast dye used
during a CAT scan, Mr. Vaage would have been the first in line to sue for damages.

This is what is ruining our health care system, not a system like Kaiser.

When you wake up to the fear tactics put forward by special interest groups, maybe we can begin

Simon Eisen on January 26th, 2010 09:56

Who could have guessed that the only thing holding up health care reform would be little ol’ me? :

As for providing Mr. Vaage’s contact information to the people who read this blog? What you call
free advertising, we call a public service. Tomato-tomahto.

And speaking of special interest groups, Simon, you do know I can tell that you posted this
comment from a Kaiser facility, right?

Admin on January 26th, 2010 23:25
Kaiser Is Found Liable in Retaliation Case
By Charles Ornstein
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
June 3, 2006

A Los Angeles County jury found Friday that Kaiser Permanente retaliated against one of its
emergency room physicians after he raised concerns about the quality of care at Kaiser's
Bellflower Medical Center.

Kaiser's affiliated medical group placed Dr. Mark L. Woods on administrative leave and
reduced his pay in 2003 after he complained about filthy treatment rooms, delays in care
and a shortage of supplies, jurors said. On a 9-3 vote, they awarded Woods $200,000 for
past economic losses.
The Bellflower hospital is the same one that in March was accused of dumping a patient on
the streets of skid row after she was discharged from its care. A Los Angeles Police
Department official said at the time that a taxicab had taken the woman, wearing a hospital
gown and slippers, to the downtown Los Angeles area against her will. Kaiser apologized.

Friday's courtroom verdict was unusual, because Kaiser and its affiliated Permanente
physicians group generally try to force lawsuits into binding arbitration, which is not open to
the public. The judge in Woods' case, however, ruled that the arbitration agreement was
"unconscionable" and unenforceable. The arbitration provision has since been changed.

The case publicly spotlighted the problems at the Bellflower hospital. In one e-mail from May
2003, Woods wrote that a patient found a urinal containing someone else's urine on a
nightstand in his treatment room.

In other e-mails, Woods detailed bloody instruments left in the sink of a treatment room and
a shortage of nitroglycerin, epinephrine, resuscitation bags and other supplies.

"This is a reoccurring dangerous trend and to date you have offered no permanent
solution," Woods wrote in a January 2003 e-mail to a Kaiser director. "What is the next step?"

During the trial and in court papers, Kaiser and the Permanente medical group maintained
that the discipline taken against Woods in late 2003 was appropriate, because he allegedly
assaulted Dr. Steve Nguyen, then chief of the emergency service. Defense lawyers also said
that Woods had been the subject of sexual harassment complaints and that his conduct had
been deemed inappropriate.

"We respectfully disagree with the jury's verdict," Kaiser spokeswoman Socorro Serrano said
in a statement. "We encourage our physicians and employees to advocate for improving
patient care whenever and wherever possible, and we do not condone or engage in any
retaliation against individuals for taking part in protected patient advocacy."

Serrano said Kaiser was pleased that the jury rejected Woods' other retaliation claims and
did not find that the Permanente medical group acted with malice.

Woods had worked at the Bellflower hospital since 1990 and had received above-average
ratings from patients and fellow physicians, court exhibits show. In late 2004, a year after he
was placed on leave, Woods was reassigned to Kaiser's Fontana hospital.

While jurors were deliberating, and unbeknown to them, Woods said the Fontana hospital's
medical group Thursday voted overwhelmingly to terminate him as a partner. His attorney,
Charles T. Mathews, said he would file another lawsuit as a result of that action.

"Now they're going to cut him off and kick him out," Mathews said. "His damages are
cataclysmically larger now, and they're directly related to his filing a claim for retaliation."

Most jurors said they believed that Woods was a strong advocate for his patients and that
Kaiser did not take his concerns seriously enough.

"Dr. Woods is the only one that really stood up," said juror Bertha Salinas, 47, of Los
Angeles. "He put his job in jeopardy and his future, but he stood up."

Juror Denise Nitinthorn, 36, of Temple City said she would consider dropping her Kaiser
insurance based on what she had heard in the case.

"I'm disgusted," she said. "As far as Kaiser, I think they need to step up and do what they
need to do to correct the mistakes."

Woods said he was concerned that his message would be lost on Kaiser because of the size
of the jury's award.

"The only way to get Kaiser to really wake up is to make them pay money that would get
their attention," he said.

Indeed, Kaiser spokeswoman Serrano noted that "the damages the jury awarded Dr. Woods
represented a very small fraction of what he had been demanding from us as compensation."

Evidence gathered by Woods' lawyers showed that their client wasn't the only one
complaining about problems at Kaiser Bellflower.

Nguyen, Woods' boss, wrote in a September 2002 mass e-mail, "As of today, I still have
complaints and personally witnessed bodily fluids from previous patients when I examined
the current patient in the room…. I am tired of writing people up for not doing their jobs."

Emergency department clinical director Russell Lo Bue wrote that he, too, was flustered by
the hospital's inability to ensure that the emergency room had proper supplies.

"Frankly I do not understand why an organization of our size can not get this problem
solved," he wrote in a September 2003 e-mail to colleagues. "My nurses are upset and
threatening to leave because they have to hunt and beg for basic equipment to care for ED
patients. The ED physicians are beginning to voice their dissatisfaction with the situation.

"Everyone is tired of hearing me say, 'It will get better. Just give the system a little more
time.' "

Serrano said any problems at Bellflower's emergency room had been corrected by October
2003, when an inspection by a national accrediting group gave the hospital its highest rating.

Woods and his lawyers contended that Kaiser, rather than fixing the problems,
tried to cover them up. In several memos and e-mails, Kaiser officials discouraged
Woods from putting his complaints in e-mail form, saying they could be used in

"E-mail is not conducive to the necessary discussion and can be detrimental if
sent or forwarded to parties who are not solely concerned with quality
improvement," area medical director Dr. Martin Gilbert warned Woods in a July
2003 certified letter.

"I therefore ask you as of this date to stop using e-mail for these purposes."
Kaiser Permanente Cancer Misdiagnosis
Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger
downloaded April 6, 2011

A diagnosis of cancer is no longer the terminal sentence it was in the past. With early detection
and timely treatment, the medical impact of many cancers, including colon cancer, prostate
cancer, breast cancer, cervical cancer, and lung cancer, can be meaningfully reduced.
Delayed Cancer Diagnosis

Ignoring or misreading the early warning signs of cancer can have dire consequences. The
longer a diagnosis of prostate, colon, cervical or breast cancer is delayed or unrecognized, the
more likely it is to progress to a non-treatable stage. Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis can
lead to reduced life expectancy, more invasive, aggressive and costly treatment, loss of
income due to time spent treating cancer, and in the worst case, premature death.

As a Kaiser Permanente member, your rights to file medical claims against Kaiser are limited.
Since 1978, all Kaiser Permanente group policies have included a provision mandating use of
a private arbitration procedure for all medical claims against Kaiser Permanente. These
complex proceedings often result in the denial of medical claims regardless of the negligence,
carelessness or malpractice of the health care provider...

Failure to Timely Diagnose Lung Cancer - Metastatic Spread
Through mediation, Walkup attorneys secured a $600,000 settlement for a 50-year-old
educator and aircraft mechanic whom Kaiser Sacramento doctors failed to diagnose with lung

Failure To Treat Infection - Confidential Settlement
Our Kaiser Arbitration team obtained a Confidential Settlement in a case against a Northern
California Kaiser Permanente facility following the failure of a team of nurses to diagnose and
follow up on a post-operative infection. The elderly plaintiff underwent spinal surgery for
progressive weakness in his legs, and an inability to walk. Following surgery, an MRSA
infection developed and was permitted to progress, damaging his spinal cord and significantly
advancing his overall deterioration. The settlement was apportioned between the Kaiser
Permanente member and his wife, who brought a claim for loss of consortium.

Information about Kaiser Permanente Failure to Diagnose Cancer

Early cancer detection and proper diagnosis often mean the difference between life and death
for individuals afflicted with cancer...

All Kaiser cases/arbitration results

In cases where the consequences range from the need for potentially unnecessary surgeries,
to more aggressive chemotherapy, to reduced life expectancy or death, the Walkup team has
been successful in representing victims and their families.

Failure to Diagnose Multiple Myeloma – Loss of Kidney Function

Walkup attorneys negotiated settlement for a 56 year old patient who developed kidney failure
and required lifetime dialysis after Kaiser Walnut Creek doctors failed to take proper steps to
treat what lab results and patient symptoms unequivocally indicated was multiple myeloma.
The patient presented to his primary care physician complaining of back pain, nausea,
weakness and fatigue, along with elevated creatinine and BUN. Though his PCP thought it
probable that the patient had myeloma, she neglected to follow the standard of care, which
required an aggressive workup and use of medications to reduce elevated calcium and uric
acid levels, and administration of fluids to combat dehydration. It was not until two weeks later,
when the patient presented to the Kaiser Walnut Creek Emergency Department with back pain,
shortness of breath, anemia and kidney failure that doctors begin to treat his myeloma. At that
point the damage to the kidneys had become irreversible. Walkup attorneys proved that had
the patient’s PCP made the appropriate diagnosis when it was first suspected, and followed the
appropriate treatment protocols, the damage to the patient’s kidneys could have been
reversed, and lifelong dialysis would not have been necessary. In addition, the patient’s need
for dialysis made it impossible for him to seek treatment through new experimental
medications. Included in the settlement was a separate payment for loss of consortium to the
patient’s wife.

Delay in Diagnosis of Breast Cancer – Shortened Life Expectancy

Walkup attorneys  procured a $250,000 mediated settlement for a 61-year-old wife, mother
and schoolteacher after doctors and nurse practitioners at Kaiser Santa Rosa failed to follow
up when a lump was detected in patient’s right breast.

The patient, who conscientiously performed self-breast exams every month, reported the
detection of a small lump to her gynecologist, who referred her to the breast clinic. A nurse
practitioner at the clinic conducted a fine needle aspiration, but lab results indicated that the
sample was too small to evaluate. Another sample was never ordered. Though the lump
remained, it was not until two years later that the patient’s gynecologist suggested aggressive
examination. A biopsy revealed that the lump was lobular carcinoma. The patient underwent a
mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiation, but the delay in diagnosis of what could have
otherwise been early detection of breast cancer effectively reduced patient’s five year life
expectancy to well below 50%.

Failure to Timely Diagnose Lung Cancer – Metastatic Spread

Through mediation, Walkup attorneys secured a $600,000 settlement for a 50-year-old
educator and aircraft mechanic whom Kaiser Sacramento doctors failed to properly diagnose
with lung cancer.

Failure to Diagnose Cancer

The patient first contacted Kaiser physicians 22 months before he was properly diagnosed,
complaining of a persistent cough that kept him from sleeping. He was prescribed antibiotics
over the phone. He next complained of the continuing cough and congestion 4 months later,
but received no treatment. He returned to the doctor the following month, with the same
complaints and requested x-rays. The Kaiser doctor who saw the patient said x-rays would be
a waste of time and diagnosed reactive airway disease. The patient returned again 4 months
later, with the added complaint of upper chest pain, at which time x-rays were taken. The
results, which showed an infiltrate in the right lower and middle lobes of the lung, were never
revealed to the patient, because a nurse, untrained in radiology, determined that they were
superfluous. The patient suffered through the next year, his condition worsening, believing that
he had reactive lung disease. Finally, when he could no longer walk without suffering fatigue,
the patient saw his primary care physician, who ordered x-rays, which revealed a large right
pleural effusion. By this time, the patient’s tumor, which could have been resected at the time
the first x-ray was taken, was completely inoperable. The settlement covered the patient’s
personal injury claim, as well as his wife’s loss of consortium claim and any possible wrongful
death claims .
Kaiser's plan seems to be to
treat only the problems on its list,
and to deny or ignore all other
problems.  But most of the
problems on the list are not
serious.  So in most cases, you'd
do just as well to have no health
care at all.  Of course, if you
have a serious problem, and
your symptoms are typical and
are on Kaiser's list, you can get
life-saving help.
California Research
Bureau Finds HMO
Arbitration Is Unfair
Jamie Court

The California Research Bureau, the state
equivalent of the US General Accounting Office,
has issued a report today that shows more than
three-fourths of Californians who are enrolled in
managed care companies are forced into binding
arbitration as a condition of enrollment and that the
arbitration process itself is unfair. The report is on
the Internet at

"This report should convince the
legislature that patients should not
have to waive their right to trial
simply to join an HMO," said Jamie
Court, executive director of the
Foundation for Taxpayer and
Consumer Rights, which intends to
reintroduce state legislation
stopping forced arbitration at
HMOs. "This report shows the
HMO's private justice system is
tilted against the patient. With a
new HMO liability law in effect as of
January 1st, it's more critical than
ever that patients with HMO
problems not be kept out of court
by forced arbitration agreements.
Other states with HMO liability laws,
such as Texas, Washington, and
Georgia, do not permit HMOs to
force patients into secret
arbitration proceedings where
private lawyers, rather than judges,

The report, minor modifications to
which are detailed in cover letter
from State Senator Sheila Kuehl,

* Many health plans are apparently
not complying with state reporting
requirements regarding even minor
details surrounding the outcomes
of their private arbitrations.

* Contrary to claims by proponents
of mandatory arbitration,
"Arbitration is expensive, at least
for patients on normal budgets.
California arbitrators typically
charge $250 to $400 per hour [and
a] typical California health care
arbitration costs around $4,500."

* While health plans are likely to
have repeated experiences with
individual arbitrators and are in a
good position to make informed
decisions when choosing an
arbitrator for a case, "Patients may
not be as well informed about
arbitrator behavior, especially if
they are proceeding without the aid
of a lawyer" -- which the report
notes is the case with very high

* California, like most states, does
not have established professional
standards or licensing
requirements for arbitrators. Thus
private arbitrators generally do not
have to meet even minimal
standards of conduct, nor is there
any real mechanism for a patient to
challenge an arbitrator's
professional qualifications.

* Contrary to earlier claims by
some proponents of mandatory
arbitration in health care, there
appears to be a very high rate of
repeat use of preferred arbitrators
by HMOs, including in the Kaiser
system, which was supposed to be
reformed following condemnation
of its practices by the California
Supreme Court. In a review of
1999 arbitration claims on file with
the Department of Managed Health
Care, the report found that 30
percent of Kaiser Permamente's
arbitration claims (the largest of
the health plans mandating the use
of binding arbitration) were
decided by just eight repeat
arbitrators (five or more
arbitrations each). Strikingly, six of
these eight repeat arbitrators ruled
in favor of the defense (Kaiser) in
80% of the cases. The report
further states that if one defines a
"repeat arbitrator" more broadly as
someone who arbitrates more than
three claims in a given year, almost
half (46 percent) of the Kaiser
cases were decided by repeat
arbitrators. In those cases,
plaintiffs won less than a quarter
(24 percent) of the time.
Kaiser Malpractice
from Kaiser Injury Lawyer website

What is the filing fee?

In order to bring a claim against
Kaiser, the Kaiser member or
claimant must file a claim for
arbitration against Kaiser. A fee is
required to file this claim, but
Kaiser will under ceratin
circumstances waive this fee.
Once the claim is filed, the OIA will
create a list of possible neutral
arbitrators that are then sent both
to Kaiser lawyers and the claimant

What occurs during this

Once the claim has been filed and
both parties have been provided
with the names of possible
arbitrators, Kaiser is given a
period of time to investigate and
respond to the claim being made.
In some cases, Kaiser's lawyers
may request extra time to
investigate the claim.

How do the parties choose the

Kaiser's lawyers and your lawyers
are each provided with a list of 12
names and each side is allowed to
strike a specified number of
names, and to rank, in order of
preference, the remaining names.
The Office of the Independent
Administrator then compares the
lists and selects that neutral who
has not been "struck" by either
party and who is the most highly
ranked by both sides.

How is the arbitrator

Once the arbitrator has been
selected, the Office of
Independent Administrator will
contact and secure the services
of the arbitrator within 10 days.

What is the Arbitration
Management Conference?

The AMC must occur within the 60
days after the neutral arbitrator
has been selected. At the AMC
attorneys from both sides meet
with the neutral arbitrator and
develop a schedule for the
completion of the case. At this
conference the parties discuss
the status of discovery, any
pending or intended motions, as
well as both sides assessment of
the value of the case.

What is the Mandatory
Settlement Meeting?

The MSM is a meeting between
the parties outside the presence
of the neutral arbitrator and must
occur within six months of the
Arbitration Management
Conference. The MSM offers the
parties an opportunity to sit down
and attempt to resolve the case
without proceeding to arbitration.

What is the Arbitration

The Arbitration Hearing has many
of the same elements of a Jury
Trial. In a Kaiser arbitration, the
person bringing the claim
("Claimant") and Kaiser present
witnesses, including medical
experts. The neutral arbitrator
acts as the judge and jury. Once
the hearing is concluded the
neutral arbitrator has fifteen days
to decide the case based upon
his or her interpretation of the law
and the evidence presented.

What is the Award?

The award is determined solely by
the neutral arbitrator and is final,
legally binding, and enforceable in
court. The decisions, with rare
exception, cannot be challenged
or changed. There is no right of
appeal in Kaiser arbitration.

About the OIA
About the Office of the
Independent Administrator

Since 1997, the Office of the
Independent Administrator has
handled all claims for medical
malpractice and negligence
against Kaiser.  The goal of the
OIA is to offer a fair, timely and
low cost arbitration process that
respects the privacy of all who
participate in it.

The OIA produces an annual
written report containing important
information and statistics about
the Kaiser Arbitration system.  
The report is then reviewed by the
Kaiser Arbitration Oversight Board
and made public.  Findings from
the most recent OIA reports are
as follows:

The OIA reported that better than
80% of those bringing claims
against Kaiser do so with an
attorney.  This figure represents a
steady decline in the percentage
of claimants who proceed without
an attorney.  Now more than ever,
people are realizing the need for
counsel when prosecuting an
action against Kaiser.

Of the 20% or so of claimants who
proceeded without an attorney.  
The neutral arbitrators have
continually reported to the OIA
that people proceeding without an
attorney are at a significant
disadvantage.  Claimants
proceeding against Kaiser without
the benefit of an attorney have
difficulty navigating the complex
Kaiser legal system, and often fail
to in obtaining a maximum reward
for their injuries.   

The OIA reports that
approximately 41% of all cases
against Kaiser in California were
settled.  Another 31% were
withdrawn or abandoned by the
claimant and the remaining 28%
proceeded to arbitration and were
determined by a neutral arbitrator.

Of those cases that proceeded to
the neutral 8% were dismissed on
summary judgment, 4% were
dismissed by the neutral
arbitrator, and 16% proceeded
through a full arbitration hearing
to an award decision.  It as like
exactly what it should be this time
of year.

Claimant’s prevailed in 34% of all
cases in which a full arbitration
hearing took place and a neutral
arbitrator rendered a decision.  
The average recovery for those
who received an award was
$386,000.  Almost all of those
claims that went through a full
arbitration process involved a
single neutral arbitrator rather
than a panel composed of one
neutral and two party arbitrators.
Kidney transplant
program violations lead
to closure

On May 3, 2006, the Los Angeles
Times published an investigative
report which showed
mismanagement in the KP-run
transplant program which
resulted in delays for patients
awaiting kidneys.  According to
the report, Northern California

Kaiser performed 56
transplants in 2005 and
that many patients died

waiting for a kidney.

At other California transplant
centers, more than twice as
many people received
kidneys than died
during the
same period.

The practice of delaying these
transplants resulted in
considerable savings for KP...
Kaiser Put Kidney Patients
at Risk

By opening its own transplant
center in the Bay Area, the

HMO harmed recipients' odds
of obtaining organs,
a Times
probe finds.

By Charles Ornstein and Tracy Weber
Los Angeles Times
May 3, 2006

In mid-2004, more than 1,500
Kaiser Permanente patients
awaiting kidney transplants in
Northern California got form letters
that forced them to change the
course of their treatment.

Kaiser would no longer pay for
transplants at outside hospitals,
even established programs with
thousands of successes. Instead,
adult patients would be transferred
to a new transplant center run by
Kaiser itself -- the first ever
opened by the nation's largest

Within months after Kaiser's
kidney program in San Francisco
started up, its waiting list ranked
among the longest in the country.
No other center had ever put
together such a list so fast.

The patients didn't know it, but
their odds of getting a kidney had

Kaiser's massive rollout in
Northern California endangered
patients, forcing them into a
fledgling program unprepared to
handle the caseload, according to
a Times investigation based on
statistical analyses, confidential
documents and dozens of

Hundreds of patients were stuck in
transplant limbo for months
because Kaiser failed to properly
handle paperwork. Meanwhile,
doctors attempting to build a
record of success shied away from
riskier organs and patients,
slowing the rate of transplants

National transplant regulators
apparently did not notice the
program's failures, though some
were obvious in the statistics the
regulators themselves posted on
the Internet.
Nichols vs. Kaiser

CASE TYPE:  Medical Malpractice/Wrongful Birth
RESULT:  $1,100,000 arbitration award
COUNTY:  Los Angeles
CASE NO:   Arbitratiion

PLAINTIFF ATTORNEY: John P. Blumberg, Esq. and Nancy G. Wanski, Esq. of
Blumberg Law Corporation, Long Beach

DEFENSE ATTORNEYS:  Laura Sitar of Bonne, Bridges, Mueller, O’Keefe and
Nichols, Santa Ana

PLAINTIFFS’ EXPERTS:  Charles Ballard, M.D. (Los Angeles) OB/GYN
Donna Barras, M.D. (Buena Park) Pediatric Rehab
Rachelle Tyler, M.D. (Los Angeles) Developmental Pediatrician
David Fractor, Ph.D. (Pasadena) Economist

DEFENDANTS’ EXPERTS: William Frumovitz, M.D. (Santa Monica) OB/GYN
Paul Schultz, M.D. (San Diego) Pediatric Neuro
Ted Vavoulis (Pasadena) Economist

FACTS:  Plaintiff had six children. She and her husband decided not to have more
children and plaintiff made plans to undergo a tubal ligation.  

On June 4, 2001, a nurse practitioner drew blood for a pregnancy test. The test was
analyzed and printed by the lab the next day, and showed that plaintiff was pregnant.
At this time, she was at 10 weeks gestation.  

However, she was never notified of the result and the lab report was never placed
in the chart.  She called for results but was told that the results were not ready. She
assumed that the test was negative when she didn’t hear to the contrary.

On June 27, 2001, plaintiff was seen by Dr. Karen Maples for a pre-op evaluation. Dr.
Maples ordered a urine pregnancy test and plaintiff gave a urine sample to the

However, the test was never performed.

At this point, plaintiff was approximately 13 weeks gestation.  On the day of the tubal
ligation surgery, the nursing staff printed a copy of the June 4, 2001 pregnancy test
and put it in the chart.

Dr. Maples testified that her custom and practice was not to review the chart before
performing tubal ligation surgery, but to rely on the nursing staff to tell her if the
pregnancy test was positive.

She said that the nurses neither told her that the urine test had not been performed nor that
the previous labs had been positive for pregnancy.  Plaintiff was given a general anesthetic
and Dr. Maples began the laparoscopic procedure. She noted during the surgery that the
uterus was enlarged, but presumed that it was a fibroid, since she believed that the pregnancy
test had been negative. Dr. Maples told plaintiff’s husband that the operation went fine but that
she found a fibroid uterus.

A few weeks following surgery, plaintiff became concerned because her uterus was continuing
to enlarge.  She telephoned Kaiser and left  messages for Dr. Maples indicating that her
uterus was continuing to grow and requesting that she be seen before her scheduled post-
operative appointment.  Telephone  messages were left  for Dr. Maples on July 26 and July 27.
Plaintiff was not examined by Dr. Maples until August 17, 2001.  At that visit, Dr. Maples
performed an ultrasound and made the diagnosis of an intrauterine pregnancy of  20 + weeks
gestation.  Dr. Maples was very upset to learn that she had performed a bilateral tubal ligation
on a pregnant woman.  She checked with the laboratory and learned for the first time that the
urine pregnancy test had never be performed and verified that the result of the test she had
ordered was not in the computer system.  Plaintiff would not consider an abortion at that time
because it was too late.

The pregnancy was complicated by complete placenta previa.  Plaintff experienced three
episodes of severe vaginal bleeding necessitating an emergency Caesarean section on
October 13, 2001.  Issac was born severely premature at 28 weeks gestation, weighing 1
pound, nine ounces.  For the next three months, he was hospitalized in the Kaiser Bellfower
neonatal intensive care unit until January 12, 2002.  He suffered multiple complications
associated with his extreme prematurity including respiratory distress syndrome, anemia,
sepsis, apnea, bradycardia and gastroesophageal reflux.  Shortly after his discharge from
Kaiser Bellflower, Issac was admitted to the Kaiser Sunset facility for treatment of a severe
episode of RSV pneumonia.  He continued to have apneic episodes and was discharged on an
apnea monitor which he required for approximately one year.  He is now nearly three years old
and has been diagnosed with global developmental delay since birth and has suffered from
recurrent otitis media and profound speech delay.

After Plaintiff recovered from emergency surgery, she spent nearly every day at the hospital
with her premature son while, at the same time, continuing to care for her other six children
and her infirm mother.   Because of the complications from her pregnancy with Issac and his
constant care needs, plaintiff has never been able to return to her full time job. Issac’s birth in
October 2001 and his multiple, extraordinary needs have pushed the family beyond their ability
to cope emotionally and financially.

PER PLAINTIFF:   Kaiser Foundation Hospital was negligent in failing to inform plaintiff that she
was pregnant on or about June 4, 2001 when she should have been offered a first trimester
abortion; for failing to obtain an urine pregnancy test on or about June 27, 2001; and failing to
notify Dr. Maples of the positive pregnancy test.  Dr. Maples was negligent for failing to
ascertain prior to surgery whether the pregnancy test she had ordered had been performed by
personally reviewing the chart. Dr. Maples was also negligent for presuming that the enlarged
uterus was merely a fibroid and for performance of a laproscopic tubal ligation on a pregnant
patient.  Had she properly made the diagnosis of pregnancy, a timely therapeutic abortion
could have been performed in the first trimester.

PER DEFENDANTS: Kaiser admitted that its nurses negligently failed to report the pregnancy
test result of June 4, 2001 to the patient, and failed to inform Dr. Maples that (1) the June 4,
2001 test was positive and (2) the urine pregnancy test was never done. Dr. Maples claimed,
however, that she had followed her usual custom and practice in relying on the nurses for
information about the pregnancy test results and had the right to assume that the patient was
not pregnant when she performed the sterilization surgery. Defendants claimed that plaintiff
might not have undergone an abortion, even if she had been notified earlier.  Defendants
disputed that plaintiff had lost earnings or that Issac would need anything other than the
special services offered by the school district to catch up and be normal by age 5.

INJURY: Birth of a child with developmental delays.

SPECIAL DAMAGES: Loss of earnings: $50,000.  The cost of raising a child with
developmental delays (i.e., social, educational and medical services) to age 18: $900,000
present value.


OFFER: None.

ARBITRATION AWARD: Kaiser Foundation Hospital, but not Dr. Maples, was found liable.  
$150,000 for general damages and $50,000 for lost earnings for plaintiff; $900,000 for the
cost of raising Issac for a total of $1,100,000.


ARBITRATOR: Harold Hunter, Jr. was the sole neutral arbitrator.

NOTE: The arbitrator fashioned the award so that a trust would be established for the child’s
needs until age 18, after which any money remaining would be returned to the judgment
This may be the largest wrongful birth verdict/award in California
Riverside: Doctor failed to properly diagnose stroke
June 10, 2011
The Press-Enterprise

A Riverside woman has been awarded more than $1.2 million
after an arbitrator found that he
r Kaiser Permanente doctor
did not properly diagnose and treat symptoms that might have
prevented her 2009 stroke.

Linda De La Rosa, who was 42, had a stroke on Jan. 2, 2009, less than two weeks after
she went to Dr. Francis Chu complaining of decreased vision, seeing flashes of light and
feeling pressure near one of her eyes, according to court records.

Chu examined De La Rosa on Dec. 22, 2008, and ordered a brain scan, which didn't
reveal signs of brain bleeding or masses.

However, Chu didn't order an MRI, which experts testified probably would have revealed
signs that De La Rosa might have had a mini stroke and could suffer a more debilitating
and life-threatening stroke.

De La Rosa's January 2009 stroke left her with permanent weakness on her left side and
diminished feeling on her right side, court documents state.

Tests performed after De La Rosa's stroke showed a large blood clot on one of her
arteries, according to court records.

Arbitrator John W. Kennedy Jr. ruled that proper diagnostic testing and treatment would
have revealed De La Rosa's problem and prevented a stroke.

Dr. Francis Chu has a valid medical license and no history of problems with the Medical
Board of California.

He still works at Kaiser's Riverside medical center, according to health care provider's

Kaiser spokesman Jim Anderson said officials disagree with the arbitrator's decision, but
will abide by it.

Chu had been De La Rosa's doctor for eight years before her stroke, court records state.
De La Rosa's attorney Robert Vaage said Chu knew that De La Rosa was at risk for
getting blood clots and suspected that one of the possible causes for her vision problems
and eye pressure could have been a mini stroke.

Vaage said that Chu should have ruled out a mini stroke to prevent the possibility of De
La Rosa having a more devastating stroke.

De La Rosa's arbitration award includes compensation for pain and suffering, loss of
income and future medical care, Vaage said.
Northern California Kaiser
Arbitration Lawyers
How We Have Helped: Kaiser
Arbitration Case Results

Case Name: Ramon Doe v. Kaiser
Summary: A baby was born at a
Kaiser hospital. During the birth,
he suffered from pre‑delivery
asphyxia which resulted in Hypoxic
Ischemic Encephalopathy. The
hospital should have performed
an emergency cesarean section,
but instead allowed the baby to be
born vaginally, resulting in an
essential partial suffocation of the
baby. In their claims against
Kaiser, plaintiffs claimed that the
conduct of the physicians and
nurses fell well below the
applicable standards of care for
treating pre‑delivery asphyxia.
Recovery Range: $2,000,000 -

Case Name: Amelita Doe v. Kaiser
Summary: Amelita Doe sued
Kaiser for the wrongful death of
her husband, Oscar. He went to
the urgent care department at
Kaiser Hospital A on two
consecutive days, with symptoms
that required he be worked up for
pneumonia. Both days, the
doctors failed to provide such a
work up. When Oscar was finally
diagnosed at Kaiser Hospital B's
emergency room on the third day,
he was already suffering from
multi‑system organ failure. He was
admitted to the hospital, where he
continued to receive substandard
care, and died twelve days later at
the age of 57.
Recovery Range: $650,000 -

Case Name: Sid Doe v. Kaiser

Summary: Sid Doe suffered an
intra‑articular fracture of his right
knee while working as a
carpenter. Over the course of
eleven months, his orthopedists,
radiologists, and other doctors at
Kaiser all failed to properly
diagnose the fracture and to
properly treat it. As a result, the
knee healed mal‑aligned with a
severe valgus deformity which
caused pain. Due to his doctors'
negligence, he will need a total
knee replacement.
Recovery Range: $400,000 -

Case Name: Kelly Doe v. Kaiser

Summary: Kelly Doe went to a
Kaiser Hospital for a routine
endoscopic sinus surgery to
remove some nasal polyps. The
surgeon became confused and
broke through her cribriform plate
in her skull, causing intracranial
bleeding and permanent mild
brain damage. The puncture
caused permanent impairment to
plaintiff’s memory, decision
making, and multi‑tasking abilities.
(Note: Plaintiff was only entitled to
recover $250,000 from Kaiser for
her pain and suffering because
California law caps what a victim in
a medical malpractice case can
recover for pain and suffering to
just $250,000.)
Recovery Range: $400,000 -

Case Name: Bruce Doe v. Kaiser

Summary: An emergency room
nurse negligently inserted an
intravenous needle into plaintiff's
left wrist, permanently injuring his
left radial nerve. As a result, he
suffered a disabling, severe pain
syndrome with very limited
function of his left wrist and hand.
Plaintiff sued the Kaiser for
Recovery Range: $400,000 -
October 7, 2010

Dr. Richard Della Penna M.D., a former Kaiser physician and one of America's leading
medical experts in Elder Care and the treatment of Special Needs Patients (SNP'S) has
filed suit against Kaiser Permanente including The Permanente Federation, LLC, Kaiser
Foundation Health Plan, Inc., and Kaiser Foundation hospitals as a result of Kaiser's
calculated plan to deny legally mandated proper treatment to approximately 57,000
seriously disabled and chronically ill patients in CALIFORNIA, COLORADO and GEORGIA
because it just didn't want to spend the money.

Dr. Della Pena's lawsuit charages that despite receiving $13 BILLION dollars in Medicare
money, Kaiser intentionally violated and continues to violate federal laws (the Medicare
Modernization Act of 2003 and the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act
of 2008) by denying these vulnerable patients crucial annual physical, functional and
psychosocial assessments and a proper plan for the care and treatment of these Kaiser

Dr. Della Penna charges that despite his efforts to have Kaiser comply with these laws,
Kaiser made the conscious decision to provide these required services to only 5% of
these vulnerable patients so that they could showcase them to regulators when and if
they were questioned.

Dr. Della Penna's lawsuit seeks to force Kaiser to deliver to these disabled patients and
their families the kind and quality of care that it promises when luring people into joinging
and claiming that it wants them to "Thrive."..
Is Kaiser driving up our taxes?
November 24th, 2009
Valencia couple awarded $5 million against Kaiser
Kaiser Permanente Thrive Exposed
by Jack & Donna Berlin
Courtesy of Vickie Travis of the Kaiser Papers:

Valencia Assistant Principal Timothy Howard and his wife Mary Howard were awarded $5
million in a binding arbitration against Kaiser Healthcare. A panel of three arbitrators
found that Kaiser physicians were negligent for failing to timely work up Mr. Howard’s
transient ischemic attacks (TIA) of the retina which resulted in a devastating stroke and
complications that included bilateral amputations of the patient’s legs. “This is a flaw in the
Kaiser system that I’ve seen over and over again. Being in a hurry; not listening to the
patient; not ordering tests,” said the Howards’ San Diego attorney, Robert Vaage, who
has never lost an arbitration against Kaiser. “How does Kaiser expect you to ‘thrive’ if its
doctors won’t follow common sense medicine?”

In October of 2007, Mr. Howard was a healthy 46-year-old, working at a middle school in
Valencia. He was married and had two twin daughters. He began having symptoms of
intermittent “gray-out” or blindness in his right eye. He saw his Kaiser primary care doctor,
who referred him to an ophthalmologist, who found no structural abnormalities of the eye.
Mr. Howard continued to have vision symptoms, with new complaints of headaches, neck
pain, and tingling in his left pinky. At the insistence of his wife, Mr. Howard was seen by
Kaiser Neurologist Marika Issakhanian, M.D. It was alleged that Dr. Issakhanian was in a
hurry and not interested in hearing the concerns of Mr. Howard and his wife. She
diagnosed Mr. Howard with an ocular migraine headache, completely ignoring the signs
and symptoms of TIA of the retina. To placate the Howards, she ordered an MRI and MRA
(magnetic resonance angiography) of the head and neck, but not until December.

On Thanksgiving evening, Mr. Howard experienced complete vision loss in his right eye.
He went to Kaiser Woodland Hills Urgent Care. The doctor there told him he was
experiencing an ocular migraine, but agreed to run a CT scan in order to placate Mrs.
Howard, who was insisting something was wrong. While waiting for the scan results, Mr.
Howard suffered a devastating stroke. Kaiser emergency room doctors diagnosed a
carotid dissection as causing the stroke.

Mr. Howard has not been able to return to work since the stroke. He has no use of his left
arm and has left-sided weakness. He is wheelchair-bound and needs assistance with all
aspects of his life. He also has cognitive and mental deficits from his stroke. He requires
assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. His future care needs are estimated in the
millions of dollars.

TIA of the retina is caused by intermittent disruption of blood flow to the eye, which causes
the gray-outs or visual disturbances. In men under the age of 60, the most likely cause is
a carotid dissection. It is diagnosed by MRI/MRA of the head and neck. Treatment for a
carotid dissection usually involves taking anticoagulation medication to prevent blood
clots. The dissection or tear usually repairs itself within 3-6 months, and the patient can
return to a normal life. Left undiagnosed and untreated, a carotid dissection can lead to a
devastating stroke.

Kaiser’s electronic records also may have played a role in preventing Mr. Howard from
obtaining urgent scans. “Once he was diagnosed incorrectly, that diagnosis followed him
from doctor to doctor,” explained Vaage. “When he arrived at Urgent Care, the doctor
looked at the E-record, saw Dr. Issakhanian’s diagnosis, and accepted the diagnosis
without further testing. That’s all fine and good if you’ve got a good diagnosis.”

“I don’t get it,” added Vaage. “What happened to ruling out the worst potential cause first?
Dr. Issakhanian testified that she considered TIA of the retina, knew it could lead to a
stroke, but did nothing to rule it out at the time. All it took was one set of scans done within
24-48 hours, and Mr. Howard would have been back to work as an assistant principal.
Instead, the Howards’ lives are forever changed.”

Because of the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA), the Howards’ general
damages (non-economic damages) are capped at $250,000 apiece. “The Howards’ lives
have been destroyed,” said Vaage. “Put in the context of healthcare reform, look at the
cost to the public: We’ve lost a hard-working member of society; we have to spend millions
of dollars to care for Mr. Howard; the state of California is ending up spending hundreds
of thousands of dollars in disability payments; and our health insurance premiums keep
going up. The real cost of healthcare is the cost related to the care of patients like Mr.
Howard, not tort reform. Kaiser completely failed him.”
July 31st, 2009
Another mother buries her child thanks to Kaiser
Kaiser Permanente Thrive Exposed

This heartbreaking story arrived in our in box a few days ago. There is only one thing we
can think of that is more tragic than a mother having to bury her child, and that is having
to live with the knowledge that the death occurred unnecessarily at the hands of the
doctors entrusted to save him. Justice rarely prevails in these situations, because the
system has long been stacked against patients and in favor of corporate abuse of money
and power. We ask our readers to keep Sean Berlin in heart and mind as they witness KP
CEO George Halvorson making his rounds, touting Kaiser-style health care “reform” for
all… because your child could be next.

I’m writing to tell the story of our 32 year old son, Sean Berlin, who expired at Kaiser
Permanente, Walnut Creek on 2/22/07 needlessly & wrongfully. Throughout his short stay
— first at Kaiser Redwood City for sinus abscess surgery, and then a needless transfer to
Walnut Creek on a holiday weekend to save money — Kaiser negligently failed to
diagnose, treat, care for and manage him in connection with his medical condition. They
also failed to recognize & timely treat him; failed to provide appropriate follow up
procedures, medicines, testing, and screening; and he was allowed to deteriorate while
unchecked & improperly monitored as his condition rapidly declined, resulting in his
untimely death. He died from severe sepsis, which is a hospital acquired condition that
can be treated if detected early enough and with the proper treatments. At all times, we
feel Kaiser neglected to abide by the laws & rules of the proper standards of patient care.

We spoke with numerous attorneys who felt we had a case but were unwilling to take it
because of the MICRA law in California limiting judgments. The three attorneys who did
agree to take the case had to drop it for being unable to find a medical expert willing to
testify in Kaiser’s rigged arbitration system. The last attorney extorted thousands of
dollars from us before he forced us to drop the arbitration for the same reason — no
medical expert willing to go through Kaiser’s binding arbitration. By this time the one year
limit for filing arbitration had passed. We also filed grievances with JCAHO and the State
Medical Board of California, and once again we were passed off and given the run around.

Losing a child is the most difficult thing anyone can ever go through. I hope that when
people read this story they can make a judgment on whether this is the way they would
like their loved one to be treated. I hope not because everyone deserves to be treated
with the highest degree of care available. The Kaiser system is negligent in so many ways
& needs to be accountable for its negligence.
KP On Call

Kaiser department rankings

Cancer score card

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Urology score card
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Kaiser Permanente executives

Retaliation by Kaiser

Kaiser arbitration

Kaiser peer review
Missing Medical Records
Oakland: girl with meningitis
Thank Heaven for
Insurance Companies blog
Warnings deleted from
abnormal test results
Medical Errors
by themoons
Sep 20, 2011    

My daughter was taken to the Kaiser Hospital in Fontana CA by ambulance after a bile
leak from a previous outpt surgery at the same facility. While in the ER the male nurse
was more interested in believing that my daughter was a "seeker" in other words he
assumed because my daugther was young (30 yr old) and in alot of pain that she was a
person that abused pain pills and felt she was there for his pereived view that she was a
addict.First of all if he looks at her medical records(since she is a Kaiser pt) which are
easily accessible thru the EPIC computer program which Kaiser uses and he could see
that she never has even been to the ER for anything let alone pain relief and that she had
just old run of the mill visits to her pcp and a couple visits to a dermatoligist for some skin
issues. After my son in law "spoke" man to man with the nurse he got it thru his head that
my daughter was indeed in alot of pain. I will be the first to tell eveyone that after that she
was given all types of pain relief and where not stingy with it. The other problem was that
after 2 hours in the ER I mentioned to the RN that she did not have a allergy bracelet on
and when was that gonna happen. He look me dead in the eye and said "oh we dont do
that here, we can look on the computer if she has a reaction" Jesus help us. I'm in the
medical profession and that is never done, if there is a allergy and its known(which it was)
a allergry bracelet goes on. My daugther did not get a allergy bracelet on until the 3 day
she was there and a really with it nurse realized the error and viola' my daughter wore a
allergy bracelet until the end of her stay 4 days later.

I will tell everyone that the nursing staff that work on the floors where great, the er nurses
that worked nights seems to be more interested in talking about "guy" stuff (they where all
guys) then listening to the pt or their families. I make one correction there was a older
male nurse who kept out of their converstations about stupid stuff and was busy caring for
the paitents assigned to him.
Death of infant from hospital error probed
Victoria Colliver
San Friancisco Chronicle Staff Writer
March 10, 2007

State and federal authorities are investigating a medication error at Kaiser Permanente's
Santa Clara hospital that led to the death of an infant, Kaiser officials confirmed Friday.

The Feb. 24 death is the third mortality caused by a medication error at Kaiser's Santa
Clara medical center since 2004. Kaiser officials blamed the latest death on human error,
rather than procedural shortcomings. After the earlier deaths, Kaiser initiated new policies
designed to prevent future deaths by medication errors.

"The rigorous procedures that were put in at the result in those deaths (in 2004 and
2005) were very apparent to me when I came here a year ago," said Mary Ann Barnes,
senior vice president at the Kaiser Permanente Santa Clara Medical Center.

The infant, born Jan. 6 at Kaiser's Santa Clara center, was transferred to Stanford's
Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Center due to an illness, said Barnes, who cited
privacy concerns in withholding the dead baby's medical condition. The child was
transferred back to Kaiser, hospital officials said, acknowledging the medication error
occurred on Feb. 7.

Kaiser officials informed state regulatory authorities at that time about the error, Barnes
said. As a result of the mistake, the child was transferred back to Stanford, where he died
on Feb. 24.

"We're very sorry for this tragic loss," Barnes said. Kaiser is conducting its own
investigation, along with cooperating with state and federal agencies.

Officials at the state Department of Health Services would neither confirm nor deny the
investigation. The agency investigates all complaints about serious violations at hospitals,
including medication errors.

The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services also investigates hospital
complaints. An official in charge of investigations did not return calls for comment Friday.

On July 26, 2005, a nurse at Kaiser's Santa Clara facility inadvertently gave a 12-year-old
girl a double dose of a drug that resulted in her death. On Dec. 24, 2004, a 64-year-old
man died at the Santa Clara hospital after mistakenly receiving a double dose of a stroke

In a similar case, state regulators investigating the death of a 21-year-old lymphoma
patient determined in November 2005 that a doctor at Kaiser's Santa Teresa Medical
Center in San Jose failed to follow the proper protocol, which requires double-checking
medications. The patient died Aug. 29, 2005, three days after receiving a chemotherapy
drug intended for another patient.

Kaiser received no fines for the earlier deaths but was required to submit plans detailing
its efforts to correct and prevent future medication mistakes.
From the KaiserVictims.org website:

Kaiser Permanente fined for breach of privacy
(May 15, 2009) Kaiser Permanente fined $250,000 by the state for
illegally viewing medical records. Almost two dozen workers including doctors were
in this improper access. Via CNN.com

Electronic Medical Records can be deadly
(April 28, 2009) What happens when a software error miscalculates dosage?
The software manufacturer takes no responsibility and innocent lives are at risk.
Much care and major improvements deemed necessary for EMR that Obama is pushing
for. Via Denver Channel

Kaiser Colorado Dollar Reserves Found Excessive For Non-Profit
(June 24, 2008) Kaiser Permanente will return $155 Million to clients in Colorado.
Deal reached between state insurance commissioner and hospital with payments spread
over three years. Via The Denver Post

Kaiser Sued For AIDS Discrimination
(June 5, 2008) Lawsuit details ‘toxic’ work environment and a corporate
culture that is an antithesis of the Thrive marketing plan. Via The Examiner

Kaiser Surgeon Gets Six Months
(May 9, 2008) A Kaiser Permanente surgeon has been sentenced for perjury.
Apparently same surgeon was addicted to cocaine for several years while performing
duties at Kaiser. Via SF Chronicle

Kaiser among insurers ordered to reinstate canceled coverage
(April 18, 2008) The Department of Managed Health Care ordered insurers to reinstate
coverage for 26 cases where the consumers were clearly innocent and coverage had
been rescinded wrongfully. Via SF Chronicle

Kaiser Permanente doctor in unprecedented criminal case
(March 23, 2008) A Kaiser Permanente surgeon accused of ‘hastening’ death of a patient
is awaiting a criminal trial. Via Ventura County Star

Kaiser Permanente doctor suspended
(March 1, 2008) The hospital suspends its perinatologist Hamid Safari.
Safari is alleged to be responsible for two infant deaths. Via LA Times

Federal Health Inspectors Criticize Kaiser for Lack of Action
(January 26, 2008) According to federal health inspectors two babies may still be alive
today if Kaiser Permanente had acted on staff complaints. Via LA Times

Patient Allegedly Dumped by Kaiser Facility Dies
(December 21, 2007) A Livermore man that was in Kaiser’s care was discharged and
dropped off at a homeless shelter. His family searched for him for 16 days before he was
found and then admitted into Kaiser intensive care, where he passed away. Via

Kaiser Refuses to Cover Cancer Patient

(December 15, 2007) Mill Valley resident and Sonoma Country Deputy District Attorney
had asked for a biopsy at Kaiser Permanente, but they did not do it. She now has Stage 4
breast cancer. Hope in the form of a clinical trial has been presented to her by M.D.
Anderson doctors, whom she turned to, being dissatisfied with Kaiser Permanente. Kaiser
has denied her request for coverage. Via San Francisco Chronicle

Kaiser to pay $1.8 Million in Malpractice case
(December 12, 2007) A 45-year-old man was misdiagnosed at Kaiser Permanente
and suffered permanent brain damage. Via OC Register

Drug Allergy Death at Kaiser
(November 29, 2007) Family of woman that died of an allergic reaction has filed a claim
against Kaiser Permanente for failing to recognize and treat her allergic reaction
Via mddailyrecord.com

Health Insurer bonuses tied to policy cancellations
(November 16, 2007) Health Net Inc was fined $1 Million for withholding information. The
insurer lied to investigators about tying employee bonuses to the number of contracts
canceled after policy holders got sick. It is under investigation along with Kaiser
Permanente (who paid $325,000 in fines), PacifiCare and Blue Shield of California. Via
Courthouse News Service
November 04, 2011
Kaiser Failed to Find Big Tumor, Action Says

(CN)- A woman says a Kaiser hospital failed to detect "a very large melanocytic tumor" on
her neck when she went in complaining of a back and abdominal pain.
Stacey Allington said she went to a Kaiser hospital in November 2009 to treat her "back
and abdominal pain." In August 2010, doctors discovered melanocytoma and the next
month she underwent surgery for "a very large melanocytic tumor" on her neck.
Allington and her husband Don sued Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Kaiser Foundation
Hospitals, Southern California Permanente Medical Group, and unknown defendants for
medical malpractice in San Bernardino County Court.
California Court of Appeal, 2nd District, Los Angeles

B236900         BC388689         Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. v. Superior Court of
Los Angeles County et a
l.  Arce

B233759         BC441742         
Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. v. Superior Court of
Los Angeles County et al.
                                    Kaiser refused MRI for Anna Rahm, 3 months later MRI
revealed "a very large melanocytic tumor" on her neck.  

B232692         GC044364         Leduc v. Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc.
B225999         VC054562         Guerrero v. So Cal Permanente Medical Group
B225141         KC057640         Campbell v. Superior Court of Los Angeles County et al.
B224739         BC382696         Tarle v. Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. et al.
B223946         BS119250         Colen v. Kaiser Foundation Hospitals et al.
B223497         LS019447         Adams v. Childers
B221786         BC368605         Ramsey et al. v. Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. et al.
B219586         BC368605         Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc., et al. v. S.C.L.A.
B217238         BC392176         Southern California Permanente Medical Group et al. v.
Superior Court Los Angeles County et al.
B216293         BC386837         Carcano et al. v. Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. et al.
B215861         BC388689         Arce et al. v. Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. et al.
B215757         BC376110         Ramsey v. Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. et al.
B215453         BC365398         Martinucci v. Southern California Permanente Medical
B215396         BC368605         Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. et al. v. Superior Court
Los Angeles County
B215185         BC386837         Eduardo Carcano and Anna Carcano v. S.C.L.A.
B211624         BC355468         Strub v. Southern California Permanente Medical Group et
B210449         LC081238         Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. v. Superior Court Los
Angeles County
B210124         BC379426         Fong v. Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. et al.
B209368         BC383733         Winn v. Superior Court Los Angeles County et al.
B199872         BS105852         Ozante v. Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc.
B198987         BC355791         Woods, M.D. v. Southern Calif. Permanente Medical
Group et al.
B196789         BC338199         Moreno et al. v. Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc.
B196372         BC337100         Okura v. Kaiser Permanente et al.
Blog: Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente links
Kaiser: Guts Pulled Out [through] Cervix, Woman Claims
Courthouse News
April 04, 2013
San Diego Education Report
San Diego
Education Report
Thank heaven for insurance companies
Showing posts with label "Kaiser Permanente malpractice'

Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Patient: Kaiser Told Me 'Redheads Bleed More'
I suggest an award for the staff member who insisted, "We can't give her any more
medication." This surgery might have had an even worse outcome if someone had tried to put
her back to sleep when she awoke and saw a problem.

Patient: Kaiser Told Me 'Redheads Bleed More'
(Click link to see documents)
Courthouse News Service
August 05, 2013

ROSEVILLE, Calif. (CN) - Kaiser staff dismissed "blood pouring uncontrollably out of" a
woman's hand during surgery and "unbearable" pain afterward by saying "redheads bleed
more," she claims in court.

Deborah Kossick woke up during surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome to see "blood pouring
uncontrollably out of her hand and extremity, while there was chaos amongst the staff
conducting the surgery, one of which kept yelling, 'we can't give her any more medication,'"
she says in a complaint filed in Placer County Superior Court.

"Several days after the surgery, plaintiff was in unbearable and uncontrollable pain in her
right hand," which was swollen and blackened, the complaint continues. Kossick says she
"advised defendants that the pain was unbearable, and she believed that something had
gone wrong during the surgery, as there was too much blood. Defendants advised plaintiff
that she had nothing to worry about because 'redheads bleed more' than other patients."

At a follow-up appointment with her surgeon, Steven Hatton Ryder, M.D., a month after the
operation, Kossick says she complained of continuing pain, swelling and discoloration of her
hand. "Defendant showed no sympathy or concern whatsoever, and, instead, told her that
there was nothing more he could do for her," the complaint says.

"To this date, plaintiff Deborah Kossick continues to be in an extreme amount of pain in her
right hand, which is now permanent. The hand is also swollen and blackened, which will
impact her ability to work and care for herself for the remainder of her life," according to the

Plaintiff seeks general, special and punitive damages, attorney's fees and costs of suit. Her
husband, Robert Kossick, sued for loss of consortium. They are represented by David M.
Poore of Brown Poore in Walnut Creek, Calif.

Posted by Maura Larkins at 12:32 PM No comments: Links to this post
Labels: bleeding, cover-up, Kaiser, Kaiser Permanente, Kaiser Permanente malpractice,
Kaiser Permanente secrets, lawsuits, secrecy

Friday, August 2, 2013
Woman Blames Kaiser for Multi-Organ Failure
Courthouse News Service
July 31, 2013

PORTLAND, Ore. (CN) - A Kaiser patient started to bleed internally during an elective surgery
to remove a mass from her kidney, and within days she was debilitated due to Kaiser's slow
response, she claims in Multnomah County Circuit Court.

Patricia and Joseph Moore sued Northwest Permanente, Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and
Kaiser Foundation Healthplan of the Northwest dba Kaiser Permanente for $9.5 million for
medical malpractice and loss of consortium.

Within hours of the surgery Moore's abdomen was distended. Other symptoms "consistent
with acute hemorrhage" followed, but it was not until shortly after midnight the next day that
Kaiser "initiated their rapid transfusion protocol," according to the complaint.

Over the next two days Moore's complications escalated, including falling blood pressure,
increasing abdominal distention, rapid heart beat and breathing problems, the complaint says.

"Following numerous transfusions, Patricia Moore sustained respiratory failure and was
intubated. During the intubation she aspirated abdominal contents into her airway."

The next morning, "Patricia Moore was diagnosed with acute renal failure," and this was
followed by removal of her left kidney and three months on a ventilator, after which she was
discharged to a care facility, according to the complaint.

Moore blames Kaiser's failure to timely diagnose and surgically correct the internal bleeding
for a host of problems she has experienced, including hemorrhagic shock, multisystem organ
failure, acute respiratory failure, gangrene of her left leg and foot, anoxic brain injury and
prolonged ventilator dependence.

The plaintiffs are represented by Timothy J. Jones and Ken L. Ammann of Salem, Ore.

Posted by Maura Larkins at 4:10 PM No comments: Links to this post
Labels: brain damage, internal bleeding, Kaiser, Kaiser Foundation Hospital, Kaiser
Permanente, Kaiser Permanente malpractice, kidney, lawsuits

Saturday, July 27, 2013
Infection Ate Shoulder, Kaiser Patient Claims
Courthouse News Service
July 25, 2013

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (CN) - Kaiser's failure to diagnose and treat a woman's oozing bone
infection resulted in part of her shoulder being eaten away, she claims in Anne Arundel
County Circuit Court. Billie Jo and Ron Bonolis have sued Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of
the Mid-Atlantic States Inc. and Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group for malpractice and
loss of consortium.

After Mrs. Bonolis had shoulder surgery, her Kaiser doctor thought she had an infection of the
shoulder tissue for five months, when it actually was osteomyelitis, a bone infection, her
complaint says. Within a month of the surgery, an MRI report suggested that the problem may
be osteomyelitis, but no further testing was done, according to the complaint.

Three months after the surgery, and after several courses of antibiotics and attempts to clean
out the surgical area, an infection consultant reported that a piece of bone used as an
"anchor" during the surgery, was positive for MRSA, a "superbug" resistant to antibiotics,
according to the complaint.

The infection had gone so long unchecked that it had eaten away the humoral head (the ball
in the socket), and her new doctor was unable to estimate how many surgeries it would take to
get rid of the painful infection, according to the complaint.

Once more of the bone had been removed to get rid of the infection, and Mrs. Bonolis was
able to have her shoulder replaced, she went through a painful recovery and has suffered
great mental anguish, in part due to knowing that she could have died from a superbug

Mrs. Bonolis has a limited range of motion in her dominant arm and is no longer able to write
normally, crochet, swim or take care of her grandchildren, among other things. Also, she
needs help with personal hygiene, such as washing and combing her hair.

The new doctor told her it is unlikely that she will ever have full use of the right shoulder, the
complaint says.

Roy L. Mason represents the plaintiffs, who are seeking $75,000.
Posted by Maura Larkins at 12:35 AM No comments: Links to this post
Labels: Kaiser, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Kaiser Permanente, Kaiser Permanente
malpractice, lawsuits, MRSA

Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Transgender teen settles with Kaiser Permanente in landmark health case
Kaiser Permanente's motive was simple: any excuse to save money. Kaiser has narrow
treatment guidelines that harm patients, not infrequently causing death, but save a fortune.
This is the reason Kaiser, a non-profit company, makes billions in profits each year. Kaiser
then channels these untaxed profits into its for-profit Permanente companies.

Transgender teen settles landmark health case
Posted on 17 July 2013
By Katie Kerwin McCrimmon

FORT COLLINS — An 18-year-old college student who grew up as a girl and now identifies as
a young man has settled a landmark civil rights case against Kaiser Permanente of Colorado.

In the rare case, the Colorado Civil Rights Commission found in March that there was
probable cause that Miki Alexander Manigault suffered discrimination and unequal access to
health care specifically because he is transgender. (Click here to read the determination of
probable cause.)

On the same day, after pressure from advocates at One Colorado, Colorado’s Division of
Insurance issued a bulletin and became the third state in the country to specifically bar health
insurance companies from discriminating against people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or
transgender. (California and Oregon preceded Colorado. The District of Columbia also bans
discrimination against LGBT patients and Vermont has since followed suit.)

Faced with charges of unequal treatment, Kaiser Permanente quietly settled Manigault’s case
before it was slated to go to a hearing in June. Amy Whited, a spokeswoman for Kaiser
Permanente, declined to discuss Manigault’s case. As a result of a settlement with the Civil
Rights Commission, however, Kaiser, one of Colorado’s largest health insurance companies,
has agreed to work with the commission to convene discussions among insurers regarding
health care for transgender people.

Manigault’s case has already prompted at least one other complaint to the Civil Rights
Commission and may open the doors for equal health care for LGBT patients in Colorado and
elsewhere in the U.S. (Coming next week: read about Kelly Costello, another transgender
person who has also filed a civil rights complaint.)

Manigault grew up as Michaela, a girl with irresistible Shirley Temple dimples who nonetheless
loathed girly dresses. She has now evolved into Alex, a young man embracing the gender that
he believes he was born with. It just never matched his body. Until now.

Alex finally had the chest reconstruction surgery that doctors deemed medically necessary but
Kaiser previously failed to cover, according to the determination and complaint.

Alex and his family cannot discuss any details of his settlement with Kaiser. But the Colorado
State University art major agreed to share his story of struggle and transformation.

Alex recently traveled to San Francisco to have an experienced surgeon remove his female
breast tissue and sculpt a male chest.

They felt like tumors on my chest or phantom limbs,” Alex said of the female breasts, which he
used to bind to try to flatten them.

He and his mom decided to bring the civil rights complaint and filed it in January of 2012,
when Alex was just 17, because insurance companies provide all sorts of breast surgeries for
other patients, including reconstruction for psychological well-being for cancer patients. It
seemed fair to them that health insurance should also provide coverage that makes
transgender people healthier.v “A lot of transgender people go through so much drama and
so much heartache and waiting for years and sometimes decades to even talk about what it is
they want and need,” said Alex. “When you can finally admit what you want and feel safe, then
the insurance company tells you ‘No,’ and puts another obstacle in front of you, that’s wrong.

“I’m just as surprised as you that I’m transgender,” Alex says.

Alex credits his mom for being in his corner and pressing the case. Deborah Manigault is a
civil rights law enforcement officer for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban
Development. So she knew how to file a civil rights complaint and felt it was clear that Alex
deserved to win.

“These are not elective surgeries. They are medically necessary for their health, for their
mental health and their medical well-being,” she said. “There are many insurance companies
who are claiming to be LGBT-friendly, but they are denying coverage based on transgender
status.” Alex has not decided how to proceed with what transgender people call bottom
surgery. Many transgender people evolving from female to male don’t bother seeking a
surgically created penis since the options are poor. Results are much better for males
becoming female because an experienced surgeon can essentially tuck the penis into the
body and retain sensation.

Alex has been taking testosterone injections since his junior year of high school, so his voice
is now deep and body hair has sprouted on his stomach and will fill his chest once it fully
heals. Now a sophomore in college, he still thinks he looks somewhat feminine because of a
long, graceful neck and fine cheekbones that any model would envy. But the testosterone he
must inject every two weeks literally empowers him as it bulks up his muscles. In contrast to
the famous “It Gets Better” campaign, http://www.itgetsbetter.org/ Alex says it doesn’t get
better overnight. Still, he is no longer hiding from friends and the world, afraid to hear his own

At last, he is embracing his manhood. He is becoming Alex. ‘I didn’t want to be transgender’
Alex doesn’t remember a light bulb moment when he suddenly knew that he should have been
a boy. Instead, growing up in Maryland and the conservative South, he remembers being a
weird kid who could beat all the boys in running races, but never fit in. “I went through a long
process of feeling I was different in some way and not knowing what that difference was,” Alex
says. Way back, at age 2, Michaela was a flower girl in a relative’s wedding. An outgoing
toddler, Michaela pitched a fit over wearing the poufy floral dress for the ceremony.

At the time, Deborah Manigault attributed the tantrum to a 2-year-old’s fickle independence.
Now Deborah wonders if it was an early sign that Michaela didn’t feel right in her body. As a
fifth-grader, Michaela remembers once being teased by a group of classmates for not fitting
in. She sought solace in a large cubby where she curled up and hid.

Posted by Maura Larkins at 2:53 PM No comments: Links to this post
Labels: Kaiser, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Kaiser Permanente, Kaiser Permanente
malpractice, Kaiser Permanente profits, transgender and LGBT

Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Kaiser incorrectly told patient that surgery would be "routine"; kidney and lung damage
Bleeding Risk Not Revealed, Kaiser Patient Says
Courthouse News
May 21, 2013

PORTLAND, Ore. (CN) - When a 410-pound woman consulted a Kaiser obstetrician-
gynecologist about the feasibility of becoming pregnant, the doctor recommended uterine
surgery but did not warn her about the risk of complications due to her weight, the woman
claims in court.

Dr. Rachel Algenio told plaintiff Karen Carmocan about a fibroid tumor on her uterus in 2008,
according to the complaint. Yet, "it was not until 2011 when Dr. Algenio advised Karen that the
said growth would interfere with her ability to have children and because of such, Dr. Algenio
recommended that Karen have surgery to remove the growth from her uterus. Dr. Algenio
represented to Karen that if she had the tumor removed she should be able to give birth to a
child," the complaint states.

Carmocan initiated a discussion with Dr. Algenio about pre-surgical blood storage in case she
needed a transfusion, according to the complaint. However, Dr. Algenio dissuaded her, saying
it was not necessary because the procedure was "routine," the complaint continues.

Carmocan lost a higher than usual amount of blood and she began to have complications in
the days following the operation, the complaint says. The complications included nausea and
vomiting, breathing difficulties, excessive coughing and an unusually high level of white blood
cells, according to the complaint. "An elevated white blood cell count can be an indication of
an infection in the body," the complaint says. She needed to use a walker to walk because the
blood loss had made her anemic, the complaint continues. After another two days, Carmocan
was given a transfusion, but the anemia symptoms continued, as well as the coughing and
vomiting, according to the complaint.

A day after she went home, Carmocan was back in the hospital because of her continuing
problems, where she was diagnosed with pneumonia and sepsis, the complaint says.

Carmocan blames Kaiser for the pneumonia and subsequent permanent lung damage,
alleging it was caused by aspirated stomach contents from her untreated post-operative
vomiting. She also claims excessive use of the antibiotic Vancomycin, given for the
pneumonia, caused kidney failure and irreversible kidney damage. "Anemia played a
significant role in the events that followed Karen's surgery," the complaint says, depriving her
brain and other organs of red blood cells and oxygen for an extended period. Carmocan says
Dr. Algenio breached the standard of care by causing the excessive blood loss, not
anticipating anemia as a likely result and not replacing the lost blood sufficiently before
sending her home.

Carmocan says Kaiser should have anticipated and warned her about "the problems that can
occur during and following surgery performed on a person weighing 400 pounds," including
"the increased risk of intraoperative bleeding in a patient when the surgical field is deep below
an abdominal wall that is several inches thick" as well as "the increased risk of post-operative
pneumonia in a patient whose extremely large body reduces the ability to breathe deeply and
move about in the bed."

"Had Karen been advised by Dr. Algenio of the severity of risk of the procedure, especially
the risks related to Karen's excessive weight, such as the increased risk of intraoperative
bleeding," she would have decided not to pursue the surgery, she says.

Karen Carmocan gave up an educational goal of becoming a family counselor so that she and
her husband, Dan, could try to have a family of their own, according to the complaint.
However, "defendant's staff has represented to Karen that if she were to now become
pregnant she would need to be placed on kidney dialysis during the time of the pregnancy,
and even if she were to be placed on kidney dialysis, Karen would still have little chance of
being able to bear a child," she says.

Karen and Dan Carmocan are suing in Multnomah County Circuit Court for $1.3 million.

Posted by Maura Larkins at 2:39 PM No comments: Links to this post
Labels: anemia, blood transfusion, dialysis, fibroid, Kaiser, Kaiser Permanente, Kaiser
Permanente malpractice, kidney, medical malpractice

Friday, May 17, 2013
Patient Says Kaiser Surgeon Cut Wrist Nerve
Courthouse News
May 15, 2013

PORTLAND, Ore. (CN) - A woman lost strength and function in her right thumb, palm, wrist,
index finger and middle finger and has continuing severe pain and numbness because a
Kaiser surgeon cut her median nerve while doing a carpal tunnel release, she claims in court.

The personal injury and medical malpractice suit alleges Dr. Annie Links did not use all the
diagnostic imaging or other equipment at her disposal to correctly identify the nerve and avoid
cutting it. Dr. Link and (nonparty) Dr. Sam Weirich later tried to fix the damage, but were
unsuccessful, according to the complaint.

Linda Raab is suing in Multnomah County Circuit Court for $497,000.

Posted by Maura Larkins at 12:14 PM No comments: Links to this post
Labels: carpal tunnel, Kaiser, Kaiser Permanente, Kaiser Permanente malpractice, surgeons

Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Medical Board of California, led by Kaiser doctor Sharon Levine,
has an inept, do-nothing approach to oversight
Legislature should pull plug on inept Medical Board of California
Legislators should sunset the medical board's do-nothing, know-nothing membership and
executive director, and start over fresh.
By Michael Hiltzik
Los Angeles Times
April 26, 2013

The time has come to put the Medical Board of California out of its misery.

The board oversees the licensing of doctors and their discipline for misdeeds or
incompetence. It also has jurisdiction over doctor-owned surgical clinics. Long ago the board
acquired the reputation of being one of the least effective regulatory bodies in Sacramento.

But evidence has mounted that it's worse: It's a danger to the community.

Because of its ineffectiveness in a variety of spheres, patients have died. Dangerous doctors
have been allowed to continue operating for years after their malpractice first surfaced;
surgical clinics allowed to remain open for years after dangerous conditions there were

Today the board is facing a sort of medical crisis of its own: It's up for legislative re-
authorization under the state's sunset rules. The legislators in charge of that procedure are
talking about rubbing out the current membership and their executive director as of Jan. 1,
and starting over fresh.

"That's not an idle threat," says Sen. Curren Price (D-Los Angeles), who chairs the board's
sunset review with Assemblyman Richard Gordon (D-Menlo Park).

Let's hope not.

The board has sat inertly by while its disciplinary program against incompetent and
dangerous doctors falls to pieces. Its regulation of the 1,200 physician-owned outpatient
surgical centers under its jurisdiction — settings where patients routinely undergo surgery
under potentially life-threatening conditions — is almost nonexistent.

"People are dying at these outpatient centers and your paramount responsibility is to keep
that from happening," Julie D'Angelo Fellmeth, a San Diego public interest lawyer who was
appointed by the legislature to monitor the board's enforcement program in 2003-2005,
lectured the members last week. One would think the board knew that, but the news seemed
to strike the members like a bolt from the blue.

The board's enforcement record is dismal. Since 2007 California has typically ranked among
the worst states in terms of serious disciplinary actions per 1,000 licensed physicians; the
public interest group Public Citizen reported in 2011 that the board had failed to take action
against more than 700 physicians whose privileges had been reduced or revoked by hospitals
or other clinical settings, including 102 who had been found to pose an "immediate threat" to

The board says statewide hiring freezes and furloughs have eroded its enforcement staff. But
in 2010 it was given the authority to hire 18 investigators despite the freeze. It still hasn't filled
the positions.

The real crime of the medical board's nonfeasance is that it's a fraud on the public. Today's
board is largely the product of a major change in malpractice oversight in 1975. That's when
the legislature enacted MICRA, the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act, to address a
largely fabricated malpractice insurance "crisis." MICRA limited payouts for malpractice
judgments so severely that it effectively made malpractice lawsuits extinct in California.

In return for the elimination of patient lawsuits as a check on dangerous doctors, the medical
profession agreed to accept tougher disciplinary standards and procedures from regulators.
After a few more legislative tweaks, the medical board was born.

But the promise of tougher enforcement never was fulfilled. The legislature and governor's
office deserve plenty of blame for that. Although the board is funded entirely from license fees
paid by doctors, not from taxpayer revenue, it wasn't exempted from the layoffs and furloughs
imposed by the Schwarzenegger administration as budget-cutting measures. Meanwhile,
medical lobbies such as the California Medical Assn. have opposed efforts to increase license
fees to adequately fund the board's activities.

The board, which by law comprises eight physicians and seven "public" members, is unpaid
except for expenses and per diems while on official business. (Four seats subject to
appointment by Gov. Jerry Brown are currently vacant.) Californians get what they pay for:
The members don't seem to have any conception of the breadth of their authority, and
precious little inclination to use it.

That was made evident by board President Sharon Levine's appearance on March 11 before
the sunset committee headed by Price and Gordon. Levine, an executive at Kaiser
Permanente, made some remarkable assertions in her testimony. For example, she excused
the board's terrible record on discipline by explaining that it must wait for a complaint from a
patient or other outside source before opening an investigation of a doctor.

In deference to Levine's tenure on the medical board, which started in 2009 (she became
president last year), I'm inclined to take a charitable view of this statement. So I'll merely call it
the single most ignorant description by a government regulator of his or her authority I've
heard in 30 years.

The fact is that the board has all the power it needs to act on its own, with or without a
complaint; indeed, such proactivity is the hallmark of effective state medical boards. In a
blistering letter following the hearing, Price and Gordon cited the specific provision of
California law that "unequivocally authorizes" the board to initiate its own investigations.

More blunders came when Levine addressed the board's oversight of outpatient surgery
centers owned by physicians, which came under its jurisdiction as the result of a state court
ruling in 2007.

The board has outsourced oversight of these clinics, which perform an increasing number of
such serious procedures as weight-loss and cosmetic surgeries, to four private, nonprofit
accreditation organizations. These accreditors are not government regulators. They don't
have subpoena power or the authority to close down a dangerous clinic, and they don't have
consistent standards or procedures for granting accreditation.

Posted by Maura Larkins at 2:17 PM No comments: Links to this post
Labels: . Levine, bad doctors, conflict of interest, Kaiser, Kaiser Permanente, Kaiser
Permanente malpractice, Medical Board, medical malpractice

Thursday, May 9, 2013
"Horrific" consequences of Kaiser Permanente's failure to properly
monitor bladder patient during and after surgery
See comparison of Kaiser urology department with other medical centers.

Patient Blames Kaiser for 'Horrific Events'
Courthouse News Service
May 08, 2013

DENVER (CN) - Two Kaiser doctors and a nurse practitioner overlooked an important lab test
for a patient about to undergo bladder surgery, and both doctors made mistakes during the
surgery, resulting in a "cascade of horrifying complications," the patient says in a complaint
filed in Denver District Court.

Urologist Mina Shabnam Lee diagnosed 71-year-old Josephine Jansen with a mass in her
bladder in April of 2011 and recommended a surgical procedure called a "bladder
transurethral resection neoplasm," according to Jansen's complaint.

A nurse practitioner, Andrea Anderson, performed a pre-operative examination and Dr. Lee
ordered lab work, the complaint states. Nonetheless, neither they nor the anesthesiologist,
Thomas Arthur Gettelman, ordered a test of Jansen's sodium level, according to the
complaint. "Either defendant Anderson or defendant Lee or defendant Gettelman could have
easily ordered a simple blood test which would have included a panel of electrolytes such as
sodium. The ordering of a sodium lab value is extremely easy, and non harmful to the patient,
and would only take a matter of minutes to obtain. However, the priorities of each defendant
were such as not to obtain this test. Moreover at least one of the drugs that the plaintiff was
taking, Hydrochlorothiazide, (HCTZ) is a diuretic and has the effect of lowering some
electrolyte lab values," Jansen says in her complaint.

"During the surgical procedure performed by defendant Lee, various and serious
complications occurred," the complaint continues, including a ruptured bladder, and aspiration
of stomach contents into Jansen's airway because Dr. Gettelman was "negligent in the
performance of his duties as an anesthesiologist during the operative period," according to
the complaint.

The complaint states that Dr. Lee, failed "to adequately consider the effects of fluid
absorption as a result of the surgical misadventure."

"Defendant's superficial approach to this patient - particularly in having no understanding of
her sodium prior to surgery - set into motion the cascade of horrifying complications which
followed the surgery. And her operative and post operative mismanagement (especially in not
ordering serum sodium immediately post surgery) caused further and increased harm to
plaintiff," the complaint states.

"Following the surgery the plaintiff sustained severe and irreparable injury. She went into
shock caused by abnormal and an almost deadly level of sodium, plaintiff's bladder was
ruptured during the surgery and shortly following the surgery it was determined that plaintiff
had developed severe hyponatremia which was complicated by acute cardiac decompression
due to the stress induced cardiomyopathy, respiratory failure, renal failure requiring dialysis,
prolonged ventilation, and significant neurological injuries. This cascade of horrific events
including multi organ failure, were caused by the negligence of the defendants," Jansen's
complaint says.

"Much of her damages are permanent in nature and her life has been forever changed," the
complaint states. "The plaintiff has incurred substantial economic losses including the loss of
her career."

Plaintiff is represented by John Astuno, Jr. of Denver.

Posted by Maura Larkins at 6:24 PM No comments: Links to this post
Labels: Kaiser, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Kaiser Permanente, Kaiser Permanente
malpractice, medical malpractice, Urology

Friday, April 26, 2013
Kaiser surgeon, or surgical resident, bungles colostomy closure,
patient passes stool through vagina
Woman Blames Kaiser for Poop Through Vagina
Courthouse News
April 25, 2013

PORTLAND (CN) - A Kaiser surgeon, or a surgical resident practicing under a surgeon,
bungled Vicki Lopez-Lunn's colostomy closure, puncturing her vagina with one or more
staples and causing an abnormal opening between her colon and vagina, Lopez-Lunn claims
in a malpractice lawsuit filed in Multnomah County Circuit Court. "As a result, Ms. Lopez-Lunn
began passing stool through her vagina," according to the complaint.

James W. Dennis, M.D. and Emily Bubbers, M.D. are named as defendants.

"Vicki Lopez-Lunn was never informed of the increased risks associated with having a
resident surgeon, [such as] Emily Bubbers, M.D. perform surgical procedures like the one
performed on plaintiff," the complaint states. "Had Dr. Dennis and /or Dr. Bubbers informed
Ms. Lopez-Lunn of the risks associated with this surgery, Ms. Lopez-Lunn would have elected
not to proceed with the surgery."

"Defendant Dennis and/or Bubbers knew or in the exercise of reasonable care should have
known that puncturing Ms. Lopez-Lunn's vaginal cuff with surgical staples would cause injury
to Ms. Lopez-Lunn," the complaint asserts.

The plaintiff is seeking $1.7 million in damages and is represented by Clayton Morrison of
Beaverton, Ore.
Posted by Maura Larkins at 1:53 PM No comments: Links to this post
Labels: Kaiser, Kaiser Foundation Hospital, Kaiser Permanente, Kaiser Permanente
malpractice, lawsuits, medical malpractice, surgeons
Sunday, March 17, 2013
Was Kaiser Permanente correct, or simply trying to save money, when it said Castleman's
patient was "hopeless"?
One of Kaiser Permanente's tricks is to avoid testing patients, or to avoid releasing test
results, so Kaiser won't have to pay for treatment.

I agree with Plaintiff's claim in the story below that "...a deliberate strategy and business
practice on the part of defendants to systematically deny medically necessary care that Kaiser
is unable to provide itself...Based on a consistent pattern and practice, defendants routinely
deny medically necessary treatment requested by members' medical professionals on invalid
and unjustified and unjustifiable grounds for the sole purpose of saving money and,
ultimately, cause the premature death of members, thus relieving defendants of the
continuing financial obligation to provide care and treatment to desperately ill people."

It will be interesting to find out exactly how Kaiser handled the following case. It is true that
some cases are hopeless. But Kaiser's strategies intentionally make it difficult, if not
impossible, to know the truth about a patient's condition.

Here's an update on this case.

Man Says Kaiser Business Model Includes Death
Courthouse News Service
March 14, 2013

LOS ANGELES (CN) - Kaiser Foundation Health Plan refuses to pay for care necessary to
save a man's life, he claims in court.

Jalal Afshar, 58, suffers from Castleman's disease, a rare condition known as
lymphoproliferative disorder. The disease is not cancer, according to the American Cancer
Society, but often leads to lymphoma and is treated with chemotherapy or radiation. He also
suffers from a rare blood disorder that appears along with Castleman's disease, called
POEMS syndrome.

Diagnosed in 2005, Afshar says he developed a growth in his abdomen in January 2012 and
sought advice from his Kaiser oncologist, Dr. Iman Abdalla, who told him, "I don't know what to
do with you," and that she had "run out of ideas and options" for his treatment, the complaint

She attributed his difficulty in breathing, edema in his limbs and stomach, and the growth in
his abdomen to "middle-age fat" and a "sedentary lifestyle."

He then sought out a second opinion, ultimately traveling to Arkansas where he was seen by
Dr. Frits van Rhee at the University of Arkansas in Little Rock. Afshar began receiving
chemotherapy on the advice of Dr. van Rhee who also planned to have stem cells collected
for a future stem cell transplant. Kaiser, however, denied any coverage of the treatments,
claiming Afshar could get the same treatments under the Kaiser plan.

Afshar twice appealed the decision over the phone because Dr. Abdalla had "already
admitted that she did not know how to treat him, and given that all of the past treatment Kaiser
had offered had been ineffective." Kaiser refused, causing Afshar to return to Los Angeles
where doctors administered a 12-hour course of chemotherapy using a combination of drugs
that were not the same as the ones used by Dr. van Rhee, according to the complaint.

By June 8, 2012 Afshar's legs were significantly swollen and his breathing had become more
labored and difficult, according to the complaint. He developed a fever and his blood pressure
dropped, leading to his admittance to the intensive care unit.

On June 13, Afshar's wife Maryam was told by doctors that his condition was "without hope"
and that "there was nothing else they could do," according to the complaint.

A chaplain and a palliative care representative then visited Afshar in his room and told him
they believed his case was hopeless, according to the complaint.

Afshar, however, refused to accept defeat, returning to Arkansas where he once again began
receiving care from Dr. van Rhee. He has since amassed over $1.8 million in medical bills,
which Kaiser refuses to pay.

Afshar has been under Dr. van Rhee's care since June 17, 2012.

"This action arises out of a deliberate strategy and business practice on the part of
defendants to systematically deny medically necessary care that Kaiser is unable to provide
itself," the complaint states. "Based on a consistent pattern and practice, defendants routinely
deny medically necessary treatment requested by members' medical professionals on invalid
and unjustified and unjustifiable grounds for the sole purpose of saving money and,
ultimately, cause the premature death of members, thus relieving defendants of the
continuing financial obligation to provide care and treatment to desperately ill people."

Afshar is suing for breach of contract, violations of California's Business and Professions
Code and intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress.

Scott C. Glovsky and Danae A. McElroy, of Pasadena, represent the plaintiff.
Posted by Maura Larkins at 1:40 PM No comments: Links to this post
Labels: Kaiser, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Kaiser Permanente, Kaiser Permanente
malpractice, Kaiser Permanente profits

Saturday, January 26, 2013
Kaiser Bungles X-Ray, Girl Suffers, Dad Says
The handling of this X-ray was accidentally bungled; Kaiser also intentionally mishandles X-
rays to save money.

January 22, 2013
Kaiser Bungles X-Ray, Girl Suffers, Dad Says
Courthouse News

IRVINE, Calif. (CN) - Kaiser's delivery of an X-ray to the wrong doctor resulted in major
surgery and a permanent scar for a 14-year-old girl, her father claims in Orange County

Nicole Ley, now 16, had taken two bites of a barbecued hamburger during a family dinner on
Jan. 10, 2010, when she felt something lodge in her throat. Attempts were made to clear the
unknown object out, but parents Marc and Tina could not see anything. Nicole then began
having a hard time breathing and complained of persistent pain. Marc and Tina are insured
by Anthem Blue Cross, but rushed their daughter to a Kaiser Permanente hospital because it
was the closest to their home.

An x-ray was taken of her throat, but Dr. Nak B. Chhiv said he did not see any foreign objects
and that Nicole probably scratched her esophagus while eating the hamburger. He added she
would need to "tough it out."

Nicole was cleared to go home and Chhiv told the family the radiologist would look at the x-ray
to confirm his findings. They were told the radiologist would call the next day if there were any
unforeseen problems.

Four days later, Nicole was still experiencing significant pain. On Jan. 15, 2010, she woke up
with a 101.6 degree fever, prompting her mother to take her to the pediatrician. Dr. Michael B.
Nestor, a Kaiser emergency room doctor on duty the night Nicole showed up, called while they
were en route, explaining that the x-ray was mistakenly put in his in-box. He said he had
passed Nicole off to Dr. Chhiv during a shift change and that the x-ray should not have been
put in his in-box since he was leaving for vacation. He did not see it until four days later, when
he returned.

He then informed Tina he had discovered a foreign object in her daughter's throat and she
needed to get her to a hospital. Tina and Nicole raced to Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach,
where a CT scan revealed the foreign body was lodged dangerously close to her carotid
artery. Nicole was transported to Childrens Hospital of Orange County where she stayed for
seven days. On Jan. 19, 2010, cardiothoracic surgeon, Dr. Brian Palafox, performed surgery
to remove a metallic bristle that had migrated, penetrated through the esophagus and abutted
against the carotid artery.

"If proper interpretation of abnormal x-ray findings had been communicated at an earlier date,
the metallic foreign body would not have moved/migrated approximately 1 cm abutting carotid
artery," the complaint states. "Nicole Ley has suffered very significant physical and emotional
injuries. She has suffered with significant depression, nightmares, difficulty concentrating and
became withdrawn and introverted."

She was consequently diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and has been
receiving treatment from a psychotherapist, according to the complaint.

"Her school work suffered and she later switched schools," the complaint states. "She has felt
very self-conscious about the scar on her neck and consulted with a plastic surgeon about
scar revision."

Plaintiff is suing for negligence and is seeking general, incidental and consequential
damages, in addition to medical and related expenses, and loss of earnings and earning

Ronald E. Harrington of Irvine represents Ley.

Posted by Maura Larkins at 1:12 PM No comments: Links to this post
Labels: Kaiser, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Kaiser Permanente, Kaiser Permanente
malpractice, lawsuits, x-rays

Friday, January 25, 2013
Kaiser Mistakes Blamed for Woman's Death from Cancer
Most Kaiser doctors are very careful not to spend too much money on finding and treating
cancer patients. They are rewarded financially for keeping costs down. My childhood friend
had bleeding for a year-and-a-half before Kaiser did a biopsy, then got very poor care after
her cancer was diagnosed. Her first appointment with an oncologist was scheduled two weeks
later than her death.

Kaiser Mistakes Blamed for Woman's Death
Courthouse News
January 24, 2013

CLEVELAND, Ohio (CN) - A woman who died of lung cancer may have had a shot at life had
Kaiser Permanente radiologists not misinterpreted her CT scans, the woman's husband
claims in Cuyahoga County Court.

In 2006, Deborah Lee Jones was under "radiological surveillance" for development of tumors
in her lungs, according to the complaint. A chest X-ray taken Nov. 23, 2009 at Cleveland
Heights Medical Center revealed a "questionable" new nodule in her left lung, the complaint
said. A CT scan was consequently performed, revealing the new mass, which went unnoticed
by Kaiser Permanente Radiologist and co-defendant David Acquah, the complaint said.

Another CT scan was performed March 9, 2010, but Kaiser radiologist David Radebaugh
interpreted it as showing no change from the Nov. 23, 2009 scan, the complaint said.

Jones underwent yet another CT scan Oct. 25, 2010, which revealed a 3.3 x 2.1cm mass, and
was diagnosed Nov. 11, 2010 with non-small cell lung adenocarcinoma, or lung cancer. Jones
passed away Jan. 22, 2011 from bacterial sepsis due to metastatic lung cancer, according to
the complaint.

Jones had been a Kaiser Permanente member since 1987.

Husband Gerald filed a wrongful death complaint in the Cuyahoga County Court of Common
Pleas, naming Acquah, Radebaugh, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Ohio and Ohio
Permanente Medical Group as defendants.v The defendants, he said, "rendered substandard
care and were otherwise negligent and departed from the applicable standard of care by
failing to properly interpret radiographic studies and treat Deborah Lee Jones for signs and
symptoms of lung cancer."

Jones said his wife could have been saved if the tumor had been properly detected early on
in its development.

"As a direct and proximate result of the aforementioned negligence, plaintiff's decedent
condition was allowed to change from being curative to non-curative and untreatable," the
complaint states.

Jones is seeking in excess of $25,000 including funeral costs.

Thomas H. Terry of Madison, Ohio represents the plaintiff.

Posted by Maura Larkins at 1:33 PM No comments: Links to this post
Labels: cancer, Kaiser, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Kaiser Permanente, Kaiser
Permanente malpractice, lawsuits
Friday, November 2, 2012
Asphyxia Brain Damaged Second Twin, Mom Says
Asphyxia Brain Damaged Second Twin, Mom Says
Courthouse News
November 02, 2012

SANTA ANA, Calif. (CN) - Kaiser Permanente's botched prenatal, labor, delivery and post-
natal care for a pregnancy, leaving her baby brain damaged, says a newborn's mother in a
complaint filed in Orange County Superior Court.

The minor plaintiff, born after his twin, who had died in utero, developed hypoxic ischemic
encephalopathy, according to the complaint.

Kaiser botched "the examinations, ultrasounds, evaluations, diagnosis, care and treatment" of
mother and son, her complaint says.

Kaiser also "failed to properly advise the plaintiff's mother of any possible alternative methods
of diagnosis and treatment and the possible attendant risks or diagnosis or treatment thereby
failing to obtain a free and informed consent," according to the complaint.

Because of his illness, the boy will need "past and future medical care, nursing care,
attendant, rehabilitation, physical and occupational therapy, speech therapy, educational
therapy and attendant expenses," according to the complaint. He also has lost earning
capacity, and experienced severe pain and physical and emotional suffering, according to the

The woman claims in her complaint that defendants, Children's Hospital of Orange County
and 10 doctors, were negligent in caring for her newborn's multiple injuries related to his
hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, including, his kidneys, his neurologic system and his heart.
These defendants were negligent in failing to appropriately monitor and treat the baby's
hypertension, which ultimately caused additional damage to his kidneys, heart and brain,
according to the complaint.

Plaintiffs sue for medical malpractice and negligent infliction of emotional distress, and are
represented by Marshall Silberberg of Irvine.
Posted by Maura Larkins at 3:32 PM No comments: Links to this post
Labels: birth, Kaiser, Kaiser Permanente, Kaiser Permanente malpractice, lawsuits, medical
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Man Wins Lawsuit Against Kaiser Permanente; first time a Fresno jury finds Kaiser guilty of
I doubt that this was the first time that Fresno Kaiser failed to properly care for a patient. It's
just the first time that Kaiser lawyers failed to convince a Fresno jury that Kaiser shouldn't
have to pay for patient's damages.

Kerman Man Wins Lawsuit Against Kaiser Permanente
By Audrey Asistio
KSEE24 News
September 4, 2012

It's been a rough three years for Dusten Chevalier. Before the 27-year-old became confined
to a wheelchair, he loved the outdoors. Racing dirt bikes, football, baseball, he did it all. But
Chevalier says that all changed after he ended up in a Kaiser Permenente emergency room,
in Fresno.

“It all started off with my stomach hurting and I actually got my appendix taken out. When I got
home my if side was kind of hurting and was a little red. So we went back to the ER. Come to
find out, I had an infection but they never told me any of this. I didn't even know I had a blood
test pending,” said Chevalier.

He says the hospital failed to tell him that he tested positive for MRSA, an infection that could
be fatal. The infection went untreated and he eventually lost the use of his legs and feet.

“At first it didn't seem real. It was hard to even imagine my life now, because before I was
really into sports everything I did was outside. It was hard. It still is. Every day is really hard,
but I don't know I'm just thankful I'm alive because I could have died,” expressed Chevalier.

Chevalier took Kaiser to court. After a month long battle, The jury verdict included damages in
the total amount of $5,000,000.

Kaiser Permanente released a statement regarding this case that reads in part, “Kaiser
Permanente, immediately after diagnosing the patient's infection, made repeated attempts to
contact him to get him the treatment he needed. This was to no avail, as he provided
inaccurate addresses and contact information. Kaiser Permanente went so far as to contact
the Clovis Police Department to help locate the patient to get him to come in for treatment.
Given these facts the jury found that, for the most part, much of the responsibility in this case
fell upon the plaintiff himself, thus reducing the award by 70%.” This means Kaiser will only
need to pay Chevalier 1.5 million dollars.

Chevalier claims he provided Kaiser with accurate contact information. Medical experts say
the cost of his care will cost millions of dollars over the course of his lifetime.

Chevalier's attorney says this is the first time a Fresno County Jury ruled against Kaiser
Permanente in a malpractice case.
Posted by Maura Larkins at 12:54 PM No comments: Links to this post
Labels: Kaiser Foundation Hospital, Kaiser Permanente malpractice, medical malpractice,
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Lawsuit against San Diego Kaiser Permanente for problems related to delivery with vacuum
device June 2012
UPDATE: I realized why the complaint in this case doesn't talk about malpractice by the
doctor. It's becaue Kaiser would simply shift the case to secret, binding arbitration.

I love the new word "mid-evil". It seems perfect, doesn't it? Of course, the teacher in me forces
me to admit that the old word "medieval" is also an excellent word, and should probably be
used when one is turning in work to a boss or a teacher. But for blogging, I think "mid-evil" will
do just fine.

This leaves us with the question, are the actions of Kaiser doctors and administrators too
often mid-evil? The sad story below reminds me of the shocking story of Dr. Hamid Safari, who
was protected by Kaiser administrators and some Kaiser doctors even after two babies died
horribly. In fact, the doctor who complained about Hamid Safari was fired for not keeping his
mouth shut!

I am wondering, however, why the complaint does not give more details about the actual
events that led up to problems with the birth of Angelina. The deliveries by Dr. Hamid Safari
have been described in painful detail, including by the Los Angeles Times. This suit does not
name any negligent doctor. Who, exactly, should have warned Plaintiffs about the vacuum
device? Was a C-section considered? Who decided against it? I have a sneaking suspicion
that not enough education and communication went on in this case. Did the patient speak
English? Perhaps the doctor was not at fault, but since Kaiser has falsified so many medical
records to cover up problems, we can not know with any certainty what really happened.

See Complaint filed in San Diego Superior Court June 26, 2012.
Complaint can also be seen HERE.

Kaiser Permanente Lawsuit
07/06/2012 10:11:33
by National-Health-Insurance

Soad and Ziad Oraha are suing Kaiser Permanente, they state that Kaiser Permanente used
a vacuum device to deliver their baby and caused their baby not only to have a fractured skull
but also brain damage.

I am no Doctor but what happened to a C-Section? Using a vacuum device for delivery of a
baby sounds down right mid-evil. I wonder if the vacuum device is another one of Kaiser
Permanente's money saving devices?
Posted by Maura Larkins at 1:04 PM No comments: Links to this post
Labels: birth, Kaiser, Kaiser Foundation Hospital, Kaiser Permanente, Kaiser Permanente
malpractice, lawsuits, medical malpractice, San Diego Kaiser Permanente, vacuum device
Saturday, June 30, 2012
Kaiser May Be Liable for Gabapentin (Neurontin) Prescription
Kaiser May Be Liable for Gabapentin Prescription
Courthouse News (CN)
June 28, 2012

Kaiser Permanente cannot dismiss claims over the suicide of a patient taking anti-seizure
medication, which occurred six months after the medical consortium won $142 million from
drugmaker Pfizer over such dangerous side effects, a federal judge ruled.

Pfizer introduced Neurontin to treat epilepsy in 1994, selling about $200 million worth of the
product to Kaiser over the next decade. But in 2004, Pfizer paid $430 million to settle federal
charges over its marketing of Neurontin for off-label uses that were actually ineffective.

By March 2010, a jury awarded Kaiser $142 million for Pfizer's fraudulent marketing.

Six months later, Kaiser patient Charles Borreani killed himself. He had been prescribed up to
3,200 mg a day of gabapentin, the generic form of Neurontin, to treat neuropathy, a loss of
sensation in the hands and feet.

Borreani's family sued Kaiser in Alameda County Superior Court, claiming that the hospital
giant knew about the dangerous side effects associated with Neurontin but still pushed the
drug to patients.

They say Kaiser knew that patients taking Neurontin in high doses suffered from feelings of
suicide, and that it promised the court after winning the $142 million verdict that it would re-
educate its doctors about Neurontin over the next 60 days.

Kaiser removed the case to U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, claiming
that federal jurisdiction arose under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). It
moved to dismiss on the same basis since Section 502 of ERISA pre-empts any claims that
might otherwise be brought under the federal law.

But U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg called Kaiser's logic flawed last week and remanded
the case to state court.

Borreani bought his Kaiser health care plan through his employer, but his family's claims do
not relate to plan administration, the court found.

"Plaintiffs could not have brought this action under § 502 because they do not seek to
recover benefits, to enforce their rights, or to clarify future opportunities under the plan,"
Seeborg wrote. "Rather, they simply assert state tort claims arising from defendants' alleged
negligence in maintaining their drug formularies and in educating Kaiser physicians."

"At base, the conduct underlying the FAC does not relate to ERISA plan administration," he
added, abbreviating first amended complaint. "Rather, the behavior is grounded soundly in
allegations of negligence, fraud, and misrepresentation."
Posted by Maura Larkins at 1:25 PM 1 comment: Links to this post
Labels: bad doctors, Kaiser, Kaiser Permanente, Kaiser Permanente malpractice, lawsuits,
medical malpractice, Neurontin
Canned for Reporting Fraud, Kaiser Nurse Says
[Click on above link to see documents]
Courthouse News Service
August 28, 2013     

DENVER (CN) - A Kaiser employee was fired for reporting fraud and because of her race,
she claims in federal court.

Karen Nelson, a native of Jamaica, began working as a Nurse Manager for Primary Care
at the Rock Creek Medical Offices in September 2010, according to her complaint. In
December 2011, she moved to Perinatal Hospital and Home Care Services.

Once there, she says in her complaint, she discovered an ongoing pattern of fraud by
nurse practitioners who billed for hours they had not worked, recorded billable mileage
they had not driven and submitted inflated reimbursement for claims for office equipment.
The practice was harmful, according to Nelson, who says the cost of the fraud is always
passed on to patients.

"Because nurse practitioners are considered to be 'providers,' on-going and regular
fraud, although relatively small in individual instances, amounts to larger monies being
billed to patients, and to the government for Kaiser Medicaid patients, in violation of laws
prohibiting fraud in Medicaid programs, the False Claims Act and others, as well as a
violation of Kaiser policy, which states that fraud, waste and abuse, including falsification
of expense reimbursement claims and time records, constitute serious offenses that may
warrant immediate termination," the complaint states.

Nelson was met with threats, however, when she approached her supervisor, Lisa Bland,
who told her to ignore reports with "irregularities" under $1,000 and that she "was not
asking her to kill young babies."

"It was Ms. Nelson's understanding that she was to sign off on fraudulent time and
expense reports or lose her job; in fact, Ms. Bland told her that Ms. Bland could sign off
on the fraudulent reports herself, in which case, she 'would not need' Ms. Nelson," the
complaint states.

Nelson then took her complaints to Senior Director Beth Martin, who likewise refused to
take action, prompting her to take them to Kaiser's Compliance Department in April of
2012. Once again, no action was taken.
In March 2012, despite her having received a $7,000 performance bonus, Nelson
became the focus of disciplinary action and unwarranted performance reviews by both
Bland and Martin. She received a "corrective action" document, which was later retracted
for an "orientation or goal plan."
Bland also prepared a report titled "Documenting Karen Nelson's Behavior," where she
describes Nelson's "ethical" behavior as "alienating" staff, and criticizes her for "(i) double
checking every line item on expense reports and (ii) TPCs required to document their
time on a spreadsheet," according to the complaint.
Nelson was disciplined in April for "acting outside of her scope of practice,' when she told
a nurse practitioner to "follow her instincts."
In August 2012, she was notified her position was being terminated.
Nelson says she was qualified for three other job positions and applied for them, but that
she had become blacklisted for her refusal to sign off on fraudulent time cards, according
to the complaint.

"Under Kaiser policy, transitional employee candidates are to be hired over other
equally-qualified internal or external candidates," according to the complaint.
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