Kaiser killed your family member; now what?

Hundreds of thousands of injuries and, in some cases, deaths due to medical malpractice and negligence occur each year in the United States. Losing a loved one is emotionally devastating, but when you lose a husband, a child, or a parent due to medical malpractice and/or negligence, not only are you dealing with the shock and the grief, but you may have some significant financial issues to deal with, as well.

Kaiser Permanente is the largest nonprofit health plan and hospital system in the U.S. Unfortunately, individuals who are members of Kaiser Permanente’s managed care system are suffering injuries and wrongful deaths due to malpractice and negligence because the health concerns of patients are taking a backseat to profit goals.

There have been many wrongful death cases brought against Kaiser Permanente over the years. Take the case of Chant Yedalian who lost his mother to breast cancer in March of 1998. Yedalian’s claim is that Kaiser wrongly denied his mother a potentially-life saving bone marrow transplant. He alleges that Kaiser inflated the qualifying criteria, so it could then deny treatment to patients and save millions of dollars.

In another wrongful death case involving Kaiser, the wife and children of a man who was repeatedly misdiagnosed with a persistent urinary tract infection, but was actually suffering from bladder cancer and died as a result, received a negotiated settlement of $1.3 million. 

The parents of Timothy Waters, 19, lost their son who suffered from Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy, an incurable disease, because Kaiser failed to refer him to the UC Davis Medical Center for medical services that they couldn’t provide. 

Kaiser member, Kin Ho, filed complaints against Kaiser, alleging that the HMO was cutting back on life-saving care for his wife, Peri Ho, and would not allow her to go outside their system for a second opinion. According to Ho, “Kaiser killed my wife.”

These and other wrongful death cases have one element in common and that is the negligent care that the deceased has suffered due to delays in treatment, misdiagnosis, surgical errors, or failure to provide a referral. 

Telling your story

Wrongful death cases due to medical malpractice or negligence are some of the most tragic. For the family of the victims, filing a wrongful death lawsuit is not only emotionally stressful, but the legal process involved can be complex and present challenges as well. This is especially true in cases where cancer patients were misdiagnosed or experienced delays in treatment that could have prevented their deaths. 

If you have insurance through a group policy with Kaiser, you are required to settle your case through their private arbitration process. It’s important to have an experienced Kaiser medical malpractice attorney handling your claim. 

You’ll need to provide your attorney with documentation such as medical records and autopsy reports as well as financial records to determine loss of financial support. 

Your legal options

While no amount of money will ever replace your loved one, if you feel that Kaiser killed your family member through medical malpractice, you have a right to take legal action against the HMO. 

Scott S. Harris, medical malpractice attorney in San Diego, is familiar with the complexities involved in Kaiser arbitration hearing and will work aggressively to defend your rights as a victim. Contact our office to schedule a consultation.