San Diego Man Awarded $4.9 Million in Medical Malpractice Arbitration
A man who suffered permanent brain damage after being treated in a San Diego hospital has been awarded $4.9 million in arbitration against health giant Kaiser Permanente.
The San Francisco Business Times reports that the arbitration case was decided in the favor of Raymond Palmer, who was represented by his conservator for the hearing. Two years ago, Palmer—who was 17 at the time—was brought to UCSD Medical Center after he was stabbed at a trolley stop. He was later transferred to Kaiser Zion hospital, otherwise known as Kaiser Permanente San Diego Medical Center.
According to a statement by Palmer’s lawyer, soon after his transfer to the Kaiser facility, the patient’s breathing tube was dislodged, which resulted in a Code Blue. For approximately 13 minutes, Palmer had no blood pressure and no pulse. The event permanently damaged his brain.
The arbiter assigned to the case found the testimony of the experts called in Palmer’s defense to be more credible than those called by Kaiser Permanente, according to the Business Times. The $4.9 million award included $3.52 million in future lifetime care costs, an additional $570,000 in future care costs for rehabilitation, $587,907 for loss of earning capacity, and $250,000 for non-economic damages—the highest possible award under California law.
Arbitration losses by Kaiser Permanente are rarely made public, reports the Business Times. The patient’s family requested that the case be publicized in the interests of public safety, Palmer’s lawyer stated.
Kaiser officials told the Business Times in a statement that the company disagrees with the results of the arbitration. The statement further said, “We believe the clinical team provided appropriate care in this matter and this was corroborated by outside experts.”
If you or a loved one is considering a medical malpractice or negligence case, contact San Diego personal injury attorney Melinda J. Helbock. Ms. Helbock has successfully represented clients in many cases of negligence and malpractice.
Please note: Melinda Helbock did not represent any parties involved in this case.