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HMO Ordered to pay $5 Million Settlement

Kaiser Permanete, California’s largest nonprofit HMO, has been ordered to pay a former middle school administrator $5 million after its physician’s misinterpreted signs of an impeding stroke. That medical error left him partially paralyzed and disabled for life. An infection related to his later treatment led to the amputation of both his legs. A panel of three arbitrators ruled in favor of the victim, saying that the HMO’s physicians were negligent for failing to properly diagnose the cause of his episodic blindness, headaches and other complaints. The doctors had incorrectly diagnosed him with a migraine. It turned out that he was suffering from a tear in the carotid artery, which was interrupting the main source of blood to his head. Howard’s lawyer argued that if he had been promptly treated with medication than the artery would have repaired itself. However, it went untreated and led to a devastating stroke two years ago. Although no physician was disciplined over the medical malpractice, they have all studied the case to learn from it. Most of the $5 million award will be used to cover the ongoing medical care for the victim. To learn more about the arbitration award, please click the link.