Kaiser Sat on Lab Results, Cancer Survivor Says
ATLANTA (CN) - Kaiser told a patient about positive test results seven months after his surgery for cancer, the survivor claims in a lawsuit filed in the State Court of Fulton County.
Gregory Magnussen sued Samuel W. Moss, M.D., The Southeast Permanente Medical Group Inc., Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Georgia, Inc., Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. and Kaiser Permanente Insurance Company. His wife, Daina Magnussen, sued for loss of consortium.
After emergency surgery to remove a large mass from Magnussen's colon, followed by chemotherapy and radiation, Kaiser finally sent him a letter about positive test results from more than two years earlier, Magnussen claims in his complaint.
In April 2010, when Dr. Moss did a physical exam and lab work, Magnussen was left with the impression that nothing was wrong, according to the complaint. “Over the course of a number of years, the Magnussens had grown accustomed to hearing from defendants if any of their test results indicated that further attention might be necessary,” the complaint states.
The Magnussens left the Kaiser plan in or around June, still having heard nothing notable about Mr. Magnussen’s exam, according to the complaint.
In Oct. 2011, Magnussen had another physical by his new doctor, (non-party) Gary S. Orris, M.D., who recommended a colonoscopy after finding a large mass in his colon, the complaint continues. After further testing, (non-party) J. Clay Copher, M.D. told Magnussen that he “had a large cancerous growth that would need to be removed immediately. Due to the size of the growth, Dr. Copher indicated to G. Magnussen that a large amount of his colon would have to be removed and a colostomy would be required,” the complaint states.
The surgery was done on Nov. 4, according to the complaint.
The Magnussens “attributed the colorectal cancer, the emergency surgery and the subsequent cancer treatments and the pain and suffering resulting from same to the ‘luck of the draw’ and went on about their lives,” it states.
June 2012, seven months after the surgery and 26 months after his Kaiser exam, Mr. Magnussen received a letter from Kaiser that said (in part):
“Our records indicate that you are no longer enrolled with Kaiser Permanente. We want to inform you that you had an abnormal laboratory test prior to leaving our care that you should discuss with your new doctor or health care provider.
“You received a positive fecal occult blood test (FOBT) on 4/12/10 which is a test used as a screening for colon cancer. Your test indicates that further evaluation is required.
Please contact your current physician for further guidance.”
Gregory Magnussen says that if he had received this letter closer to the time of the test result, “he would have sought further evaluation and treatment and the lives that the Magnussens and their extended family members now have would be very different.” Instead, he “has suffered severe, permanent and disabling personal injuries, ... and has suffered, and will continue to suffer, physical, mental and emotional pain.”
The plaintiffs are represented by Larry C. Oldham of Cumming, Ga.