PORTLAND, Ore. (CN) – Kaiser allowed a male nurse to sexually abuse female patients, four women claim in Multnomah County Circuit Court.
The four women, identified in the lawsuit as R.J., G.M., A.R. and W.D., sued Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Northwest, an Oregon corporation and Northwest Permanente, an Oregon corporation, for negligence and sexual abuse. The women seek damages ranging from $1 million to $2 million, a total of $5.75 million.
“At all times mentioned herein, defendants Northwest and Permanente knew or had reason to know that Alex Woolner, a nurse in their employ, had a propensity to be sexually aggressive toward patients, and to use his position, status and employment to exploit female patients for his own sexual gratification," the complaint states.
Alex Woolner is not a party to the lawsuit.
The alleged incidents took place during medical exams and procedures at Kaiser’s Beaverton Clinic, according to the lawsuit.
R.J. alleges Woolner “made sexually suggestive comments, questioned her about sexual matters, and pried for information that had no medical purpose.” He stuck an imaginary cotton swab in his ear and made sexual sounds and faces in what he called an “eargasm,” she claims.
G.M. says Woolner asked her to pull down the top of her dress for an injection in her hip. When she refused and merely lifted up her skirt, he pulled her underwear down lower than necessary, she says. After the injection, he “lifted the plaintiff’s panties up and over her rear, then lingered in the area, staring at a tattoo on plaintiff’s upper thigh, and then commented on the tattoo,” the complaint states.
A.R. claims during an immunization visit, Woolner, “questioned plaintiff about her clothing, including her bra, and upon learning that plaintiff was not wearing a shirt underneath her hooded sweatshirt, Woolner informed plaintiff that he was unable to locate any gowns that would fit her, and ordered plaintiff to take off her hooded sweatshirt, exposing her down to her bra.”
“Woolner told plaintiff she had ‘nothing to be ashamed about’ and noted that she was ‘much larger than an average woman,’ referring to her breasts; Woolner asked plaintiff if she had ‘expected to be naked in front of a stranger;’ Woolner asked plaintiff if she was married, and whether her husband commented on her breasts; Woolner asked plaintiff if she experienced any back pain due to the size of her breasts; Woolner told plaintiff he was ‘surprised’ that she had decided to wear a ‘fun bra,’ stating that ‘most girls who have large breasts tend to wear sports bras;’ Woolner told plaintiff that he paid his way through nursing school by being a nude model, and told plaintiff she would be a ‘good candidate’ for that; at one point during the injection, Woolner exposed a part of plaintiff’s areola and Woolner stared at plaintiff’s exposed breast, commenting, ‘You’re falling out,’” the complaint states.
Woolner then asked for A.R.’s email address, password and phone number and sent her three text messages about the topic of nude modeling, according to the complaint.
W.D. claims that Woolner questioned her about body piercings. When Woolner learned W.D. had nipple piercings, he shared explicit information with her about his penis piercing, telling her that it had caught on his clothing during an erection and that it had caught on his partner’s clitoral piercing during intercourse, W.D. says.
R.J., G.M., A.R. and W.D. are represented by Gregory Kafoury and Jason Kafoury and Mark McDougal of Kafoury & McDougal in Portland.
LOS ANGELES – Kaiser and others neglected an elderly woman’s deteriorating health, ultimately leading to her death, her family claims in Los Angeles County Superior Court.
Jehu Robert Hall, Desiree Hall and Vanessa Lackey-Jackson, individually and as surviving heirs and successors in interest of Lois Lackey, sued Kaiser Health Plan, Inc., Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, Southern California Permanente Medical Group, Beverly West Healthcare and Centinela Hospital Medical Center, alleging elder abuse/neglect, negligence, professional negligence, wrongful death, breaches of resident’s rights and negligent infliction of emotional distress.
According to the lawsuit, Lois Lackey, 73, was active and independent until she fractured her neck in a fall.
“She was able to perform all household chores and activities of daily living. She was the matriarch of her family and loved celebrating holidays, birthdays and all of her children and grandchildren’s social and school events. She loved getting together often with friends and family. She especially loved helping people in her community and church. She was an ordained minister and spent countless hours donating her time and talents to charities and charitable services in the community. She was adored by her husband, children, grandchildren and friends,” the complaint states.
Between Lackey’s July 6, 2016 accident and her death on Aug. 14, her condition deteriorated due to neglect by Kaiser, Centinella Hospital Medical Center and Beverly West Healthcare, according to the complaint.
First, Lackey was hospitalized at Centinella Hospital for surgery to repair her neck fracture, according to the complaint. She had no skin breakdown when she was admitted, but had a sacral pressure sore by the time she was moved to Kaiser West Los Angeles (KWLA) on July 13 for physical therapy, occupational therapy and wound care, it says.
“She was still vulnerable and dependent upon the nurses and staff for all of her needs because she was recovering from neck surgery and had limited mobility. Due to her skin breakdown and dependent status, it was imperative that the KWLA staff keep her clean and dry, nourished, provided adequate wound care and turned and repositioned at least every two hours. Plaintiffs were informed that Mrs. Lackey’s sacral pressure sore was ‘not serious’ at the time of her admission to KWLA. Plaintiff’s visited her on a daily basis for hours. They were informed that her wound was improving and that she was medically stable. The expectation was that after aggressive rehabilitation, she would be discharged home. Unbeknownst to plaintiffs, her pressure sore worsened while at KWLA so that, by the time she was discharged to Rancho Los Amigos for aggressive rehabilitation on July 19, 2016, it was a Stage II-III,” the complaint states.
Rancho Los Amigos is not named as a party to the lawsuit.
According to the complaint, Lackey was medically stable and eating well, with normal kidney functioning when she went to Rancho Los Amigos. “However, because the therapy required sitting, stretching and aggressive movement, her physicians and therapists determined that they could not provide the needed therapy for fear that it would severely adversely affect her sacral pressure sore. They therefore advised Kaiser that they could not perform the necessary aggressive therapy and that she would have to be discharged to a facility of Kaiser’s choosing,” the complaint states.
On July 29, Lackey was admitted to Beverly West Healthcare, where her pressure sore got worse, her diabetes flared up due to Beverly West’s sugar-laden food, and she became malnourished and dehydrated, according to the complaint. She was left sitting on a bedpan for hours, or sometimes not given a bedpan at all, so she was forced to soil herself in bed, according to the complaint.
“Despite the fact that Mrs. Lackey developed infected pressure sores, multiple severe urinary tract infections, kidney failure and elevated potassium, which required that she be sent to the hospital on an emergent basis, the staff delayed in reporting Mrs. Lackey’s symptoms to her physicians and once the physicians knew of the change in condition, Mrs. Lackey was still not transferred. The nursing notes revealed symptoms and changes of conditions which were not reported to Mrs. Lackey’s doctor or family,” the complaint states.
“By the time Mrs. Lackey was discharged and transferred back to KWLA, she was in a seriously debilitated condition, from which she never recovered,” it says.
Lois Lackey’s family seeks general, special, exemplary and punitive damages, expenses, interest, costs, civil penalties and attorneys’ fees. The family is represented by Jerrie S. Weiss Law and Injured Patient Advocates in Thousand Oaks.
VENTURA, Calif. (CN) – During his botched vasectomy, a Kaiser surgeon negligently caused a secondary wound, and an instrument left in the wound caused an infection, an attorney claims in a lawsuit filed in Ventura County Superior Court.
SANTA ANA, Calif. (CN) – A baby’s neurological problems were caused by Kaiser’s failure to correctly diagnose jaundice-related conditions, his parents claim in Orange County Superior Court.
SAN DIEGO (CN) – A medical technology group sued Kaiser Permanente for $50 million on Wednesday, claiming the medical giant stole its trade secrets on wearable medical devices and shared them with its competitors.
SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (CN) – Kaiser fired a newly hired Appointment Clerk before her probationary period was over due to her pregnancy, she claims in her San Bernardino Superior Court lawsuit.
ARLINGTON, Va. (CN) – Inadequate post-op monitoring and over-medicating left a man disabled, his grandmother claims in Arlington County Circuit Court.
LOS ANGELES (CN) - Instead of accommodating her disabilities, Kaiser fired an experienced senior nurse who had fallen at work, she claims in her Los Angeles Superior Court suit.
SEATTLE (CN) – Kaiser’s Washington state health plans exclude treatment options for hearing loss, which constitutes disability discrimination according to a class action lawsuit filed in Seattle.
SANTA ANA, Calif. (CN) – Kaiser fired a pharmacist on a pretext because of her age and her complaints about understaffing, she claims in Orange County Superior Court.
LOS ANGELES (CN) – University of Southern California cannot collect from secondary insurers because of Kaiser’s format of payment denials, USC claims in Los Angeles County Superior Court.
LOS ANGELES (CN) - Kaiser fired a nurse after she complained that her supervisors had revealed her mental health status to a co-worker, according to a recently filed suit.
By Maria Dinzeo
SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – California nurses will get roughly $6 million – at their attorneys nearly $2 million – from health care giant Kaiser Permanente for time spent doing unpaid work.
OAKLAND (CN) – After testifying for a black coworker in an
employment discrimination suit, a black Kaiser orthopedic technician says in a complaint filed in Alameda County Superior Court he
was forced to quit his job due to harassment.
LOS ANGELES (CN) – University of Southern California cannot collect from secondary insurers because of the way Kaiser designed its payment denials, USC claims in Los Angeles County Superior Court.