Kaiser Delayed Foot Tumor Followup, Woman Claims
6-5-2015 21:04:00

PORTLAND, Ore. (CN) - A woman faces eventual amputation of her foot because Kaiser delayed diagnosing and treating a tumor, she claims in Multnomah County Circuit Court.

     Karen J. West sued Kaiser Foundation Hospital, Northwest Permanente, PC, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Northwest and podiatrist James Michael Konieczny, for medical negligence.

     According to West’s complaint, she saw Dr. Konieczny in Sept. 2011 for a mass in the arch of her right foot.

     “The foot was tender while walking on uneven ground. She could not wear an arch in a shoe, could not walk barefoot on beach or grass, or walk on flat ground without pain,” (Pg. 2, No. 2) the complaint states.

     West was 26 at the time, she says.

     Dr. Konieczny sent her for an MRI, but “did not schedule a follow up appointment, did not notify the plaintiff either by telephone or in writing of the results of the MRI, and did not see plaintiff again. No further action was taken by the defendants in any respect to assist the plaintiff in diagnosing the nature, extent nor severity of the mass in her right foot,” (Pg. 3, No. 4) the complaint states.

     “Plaintiff called defendant Konieczny and defendant Kaiser’s Department of Podiatry numerous times requesting the results of the MRI, but received no return telephone calls,” (Pg. 3, No. 5) it continues.

     In May 2012, West’s foot had not improved and she asked her primary care doctor for a biopsy, according to the complaint.

     “Plaintiff requested a biopsy of the lump and a referral to Podiatry once again, as she had not received any return calls from Dr. Konieczny. No Podiatry referral was made,” (Pg. 3, No. 6) the complaint states.

     “On Dec. 23, 2013, plaintiff once again requested a copy of the MRI report from Dr. Konieczny and was told to contact the imaging department if she wanted to see the report,” (Pg. 3, No. 8) it continues.

     In Jan. 2014, West saw a third doctor who suggested another MRI and a biopsy, according to the complaint. By that time, the tumor had grown significantly and was could not be completely removed, according to the complaint.

     “As a result of the negligence of the defendants as alleged above, the tumor in the plaintiff’s right foot grew into and around the muscles, ligaments, tendons and nerves of the plaintiff’s right foot and became impossible to remove from the right foot with clean margins. Because of the failure and inability to remove the entire tumor, plaintiff will suffer chronic and constant recurrence of the tumor in the future, will require additional invasive surgeries as the tumor continues to grow and spread, and will suffer, at some time in the future, amputation of her right foot, together with a reasonable chance that the tumor will become malignant and metastatic,” (Pg. 5, No. 12) the complaint states.

     Karen West seeks $6 million in economic and non-economic damages. She is represented by James D. Huegli and Todd J. Huegli of Huegli Fraser in Portland.