A young California woman received a $28 million verdict after a jury agreed that doctors at Kaiser Permanente negligently failed to order an MRI which would have discovered her cancer.
According to the lawsuit, Anna Rahm was 17 when she started feeling severe pain in her back and leg. Doctors at Kaiser Permanente refused Rahm and her mother’s requests to order an MRI, and instead told the girl that she simply needed to lose weight. She was referred to a nutritionist and an acupuncturist, even though she only weighed 125 pounds at the time.
Rahm’s pain continued to worsen, and three months later doctors at Kaiser finally ordered the MRI. When the results came back, doctors discovered an aggressive, cancerous tumor in her pelvis. In order to remove the tumor, doctors at Kaiser amputated the girl’s right leg, half of her pelvis, and part of her spine.
Rahm filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against Kaiser Permanente, alleging that the doctors’ failure to order an MRI allowed the cancer to grow unchecked. If the tumor had been discovered earlier, the extensive amputations may not have been necessary.
In order to prove a medical malpractice case in California, a patient must show that a doctor failed to use failed to us the generally accepted practices and procedures that any other doctor would use to treat a specific disease or condition. This failure to follow the appropriate standard of care must then cause harm to the patient. Medical malpractice claims are most often filed as a result of medication errors, misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis, childbirth injuries and botched surgeries.
In Rahm’s case, she argued that had the doctors performed the MRI earlier, the tumor would not have been so large and the treatment would not have been so drastic. Kaiser’s doctors argued that the timing of the MRI was within normal treatment standards, and that even if the MRI would have been performed when it was first requested, the tumor was still so large that amputation would have been medically necessary.
The jury sided with Rahm, and ordered Kaiser Permanente to pay $28.2 million in damages for her future medical bills, pain and suffering, and loss of earning potential.
It can be difficult for patients to question a doctor’s diagnosis, especially when the patient is very young. If you or your child is ever unsatisfied with a course of treatment or a diagnosis, always remember that you have a right to seek a second opinion.
If a doctor’s delay or refusal to treat your condition resulted in an injury or made your condition worse, you may have the right to seek compensation for the additional harm your doctor caused. At the Trial Law Offices of Bradley I. Kramer, M.D., Esq., our dedicated medical and legal staff will evaluate your injury and your medical case history, and can help you protect your rights. Bradley I. Kramer is both a medical doctor and an attorney, and has the unique expertise you need on your side to fight back after a doctor’s negligence.
For a free consultation, contact us by calling (310) 289-2600 and speak with an experienced Los Angeles medical malpractice attorney today.