Liability for Kaiser Permanente Medical Malpractice Injuries

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Sep 17, 2012

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J. Niley Dorit, a California medical malpractice attorney says that while medical malpractice claims against Kaiser Permanente predominantly involve physicians – as opposed to nurses – errors, other types of healthcare providers can also be liable. He provided the following examples:

We have a current [Kaiser] claim involving a technician, so it’s not a nurse or a doctor, but an assistant to a nurse who made a mistake and who likely will be found responsible for that mistake.

Kaiser also has a call center where there are advice nurses on the telephone and we’ve had a couple of very, very serious cases where the advice nurse either gave the wrong advice or failed to communicate to a doctor that a patient had an acute situation that needed to be addressed. Kaiser is ultimately responsible for all of those errors.

Consequences for Kaiser Doctors

What happens to the Kaiser doctor if he or she if found to have committed malpractice? According to Dorit, when a Kaiser Permanente medical and hospital malpractice lawsuit is concluded, either by arbitration or by settlement, there’s a requirement in the California law that Kaiser identify the person or persons most responsible for the loss, the damage or the outcome. They have to report a settlement or judgment of the case to licensing agencies which is then shared with governmental authorities. He says that, in many cases, that’s the goal of his clients. He explained:

[Patients] want to be heard and they want this to be addressed. On a purely personal responsibility scale, when I bring a claim against a particular doctor or some nurses at Kaiser and we win the case, it certainly highlights the issue for that healthcare provider that somebody has had to make amends for a serious mistake that they made. Hopefully, it will inspire them to set the bar a little bit higher in terms of the standards that they follow for the rest of the patients that they deal with in their career. I’m hopeful that that would happen.


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