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Kaiser Settled Malpractice Suit, but Not Nearly Enough

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Pasadena, CASeveral years ago Greg M. was told he had a small tumor and was given a few options; he decided upon surgery—a decision he now lives to regret, every day of his life. "I was told by Kaiser that I would be in hospital for 3 days but stayed for 8 days," says Greg. And the hospital's doctors would subject Greg to 4 more surgeries as they tried to correct the initial medical malpractice.

Surgery Malpractice"They left a gaping hole between the urethra and the bladder—it wasn't connected very well," Greg explains. "I experienced a lot of leakage—my urine was not going through the catheter into the bag; instead it was leaking into my body. That happened over many days. By the seventh day of my hospital stay, the doctor moved the catheter to the correct position and it worked; now the urine was coming out properly. But the massive leaking caused irreparable scarring and my urinary system was compromised--I am still dealing with it today.

When I tried to get Kaiser—my health maintenance organization (HMO)--to correct this problem, they told me that they didn't know what my problem was. My doctor said he didn't know what was causing the leakage but he would keep trying to fix the problem. I would go into the Kaiser hospital periodically and they would run some tests—they checked my urinal system for blockage and indeed it was blocked. It got so bad that I couldn't pee due to so much scar tissue. Eventually it shut down and I wound up in ER about 3 months later.

Next up, they misdiagnosed my problem—saying I had a bladder infection. But the problem was the scar tissue; I have undergone 4 subsequent surgeries since they first removed the tumor.

Kaiser Mediation

In my attempt to get help, Kaiser denied responsibility. When you are a member of Kaiser you must sign a consent form before their doctors can operate—that applies to all major operations. In a nutshell, the form says if something goes wrong, Kaiser cannot be held responsible or liable.

Secondly, as a Kaiser member, you must agree to mediation rather than a lawsuit. My only recourse was to take them to mediation. The mediator determined that Kaiser was at fault. Malpractice in the state of California pays a maximum of $250,000 and I was awarded this amount plus my wife was awarded $75,000 because of my loss of ability to perform sexually. I was awarded an additional $31,000 for additional medical procedures. My total settlement was $356,271.

I am not happy with this settlement. I am wearing diapers and will likely wear them for the rest of my life. I also have erectile dysfunction, possibly for life. My estimated life span is supposed to be another 20 years (I am 60 this year) so that isn't a fair trade-off: just over $300,000 for the next 20 years with no sex and in diapers. (Another issue was brought up during the deposition: my life span has been shortened and I will probably live to be 70 or so instead of 80.)

Arbitration is final and by doing this, I think Kaiser wants to limit their liability. They have deep pockets so this amount is nothing to them but our lives have been drastically and deeply changed. Before this happened my wife and I enjoyed a healthy sex life, now we look forward to nothing. That is just the way our cards fell."

READER COMMENTS

Posted by

on
Hi my name is Minerva Reyes and I lost a great person in my life: my mother in law. She died at Kaiser Permanente please read her story at Gofundme.com/r8zsqsc please disregard donation part. I just need answers and need help. They denied us her medical records because we don't have her death certificate. When I ask for their policies and procedures the supervisor in medical records laughed at me and told me that kaiser does not have any plus that she didn't know of other facilities that did. I was doing research and there are policies on the website. Iam so mad I want to scream.Autopsy will be done this wk. Thanks I sure appreciate any help or guidance during this time of sorrow!

Posted by

on
Kaiser Senior Advantage HMO doctors have denied me proper and meaningful medical treatment for a potentially fatal, but treatable, liver virus since 2009 when I enrolled with my Medicare. My family, friends, and I now realize Kaiser doctors and other Kaiser personnel fabricate some test results and falsify some medical records to enable Kaiser to put on a façade and create the pretense Kaiser doctors have done no wrong and disingenuously claim that I do not need treatment. The records I obtained from Kaiser verify the doctors I have seen at Kaiser since 2009 are well aware that I suffer with a liver virus that damages and destroys the liver without treatment, and the afflicted person dies. The records also show that I requested to have a different Kaiser Gastroenterologist or liver doctor assigned to my case as each liver doctor that was assigned refused to provide proper treatment and medicine to stop the liver virus and damage from progressing into liver cancer. The fabricated results of a blood test that was recently taken at a Kaiser Facility in Sacramento claim my liver enzymes are within normal limits. However, previous blood test results verify my liver enzymes were extremely elevated a few years ago, and it is ridiculous for Kaiser to claim my liver is functioning normally considering the liver virus does not stop progressing towards liver cancer and causing further liver damage unless proper and meaningful medical treatment is given. Kaiser did not provide proper and meaningful medical treatment to me, and I feel ill and I am in pain. I need legal help to sue Kaiser and compel Kaiser to provide proper and meaningful medical treatment to me and comply with the agreement I made with Kaiser to provide me with proper and meaningful medical care for the liver virus or the virus that has now possibly progressed to liver cancer.

Posted by

on
I am sorry to hear of your experience.
Personally, I have had two terrible experiences with Kaiser, one of which cost my husband his life.

Several years ago he was diagnosed with a high prostate level. Follow ups were not done. His doctor left Kaiser. When my husband was assigned to another physician they tested his prostate. His level in the blood was 1100. It was stage 4 and had spread to his bones. Eventually we were forced into hospice care. Hospice provided a nurse one time a week. She left medications and inspected our home. The nurse determined our stairs were unsafe due to his weak condition. However they refused to provide help when he would fall on the floor. They never gave him a bath or a meal. They did bring their supervisor to our home. They inspected not only the interior but also the exterior. Kaiser Hospice was intrusive, dictitorial and useless.

Recently I broke my back and Kaiser primary physician would not see me. She prescribed two prescriptions and sent me home. In desperation I went to a private orthopedic surgeon who ordered MRI and saw the brake, along with the compressed disk and stenosis that had been causing me pain for years. Kaiser took no interest in my back and diagnosed it as arthritis.

I am out several hundreds of dollars for private care. They refuse to pay for the servies of the private doctor. Additionally they say they can provide care. I'm leaving Kaiser as soon as possinble.

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