Attorney Claims Kaiser Paralyzed Arm, and Seeks $7M
8-15-2014 23:31:00

     PORTLAND, Ore. (CN) - An attorney has a paralyzed arm and damaged lungs following Kaiser’s botched surgery and anesthesia, he claims in a $7 million lawsuit in Multnomah County Circuit Court.

     Ken Tolliver sued Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Northwest, dba Kaiser Permanente, Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, Northwest Permanente, P.C. and Kaiser Foundation Health Plan Inc. for medical malpractice. He seeks $3 million in economic damages and $3 million in non-economic damages. His wife, Alice Tolliver, also sued for $1 million for loss of consortium.
     According to the Tollivers' complaint, Mr. Tolliver had minimally invasive mitral valve surgery at Kaiser Sunnyside in 2012.
     Two anesthesiologists worked on him during the surgery, the regular cardiac surgery anesthesiologist and an anesthesiologist interning to specialize in cardiac surgery cases, the complaint states.
     While under surgical anesthesia, and with tubes down his throat, Tolliver threw up, and some of the material went into his lungs. The Tollivers were not informed of this following the surgery, the couple claim in their complaint.
     “When Mr. Tolliver awoke from the surgery his right hand/arm was paralyzed. It had impaired feeling, movement and control. One of the anesthesiologists told Mr. Tolliver that it was normal and would get better. But it didn’t,” the complaint states.
     When Tolliver’s right hand started to hurt, he asked Kaiser staff to remove an IV that was in his hand, but they refused to do so, according to the complaint.
     Tolliver accuses Kaiser of “failing to adequately maintain the blood flow to his right arm and its nerves during the surgery; failing to adequately position Mr. Tolliver during surgery to avoid lasting injuries; failing and refusing to move the IV from his right hand during and after the surgery; failing to notify Mr. Tolliver that his lungs had been compromised; exposing Mr. Tolliver to poor technique and adverse stimuli while anesthetized; releasing Mr. Tolliver from the hospital following the surgery prematurely; and failing to adequately treat his pneumonia after he returned to the emergency room following surgery.”
Kenneth Tolliver is representing himself and Mrs. Tolliver in the lawsuit.