Kaiser Let Sedated Patient Drive, Grieving Mother Claims
12-12-2013 21:13:00

     FRESNO, Calif. (CN) - A young girl died because a prematurely-discharged surgical patient drove her SUV across the double yellow lines, causing a head-on collision, the girl’s mother claims in a lawsuit filed in Fresno County Superior Court.
    Individually and as successor-in-interest to decedent Jayla Sanchez, Desiree Abarca sued Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc., The Permanente Medical Group Inc., Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and Linda Sue Fairbanks.
     According to the 13-page complaint, Fairbanks had surgery at a Kaiser hospital, where she “was administered two powerful and significantly mind-altering drugs known as Oxycontin and Dilaudid, known to render a person heavily intoxicated and unable to make sound decisions or responsibly conduct themselves, including but not limited to, the ability to safely control and navigate a vehicle,” and then sent her home the same day.
     Abarca alleges Kaiser did not fulfill its duty to keep Fairbanks at the hospital or make sure someone else was available to drive her home. Instead, she says, Fairbanks was allowed to drive, and went southbound on the State Route 43, where Jayla’s father, Jorge Perez, Jr., was driving northbound, with Jayla in the car.
     “As a result of the level of intoxication, defendant Linda Sue Fairbanks traveled across the solid double yellow lines and entered the northbound lane of State Route 43, thereby colliding head-on with the vehicle that decedent Jayla Sanchez was a passenger in, resulting in fatal injuries to decedent Jayla Sanchez . . . Decedent Jayla Sanchez initially survived the collision, with severe and catastrophic injuries, but subsequently succumbed to her injuries and died at the age of four,” the complaint states.
     Plaintiff seeks economic and non-economic damages, costs of suit and interest. She is represented by Joseph M. Barrett and Ibiere N. Seck of The Cochran Firm in Los Angeles and Benjamin P. Tyrk of Fresno, as co-counsel. 13CECG03510