Kaiser Bungled Tumor Care, Woman Claims
FAIRFAX, Va. (CN) – Kaiser did not tell a woman about a tumor on her spine, then bungled its removal, she claims in Fairfax County Virginia Circuit Court.
Linda Kronenberg fka Linda Levy sued Steven Scherping, Jr. and Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Mid-Atlantic States dba Kaiser Permanente for medical malpractice, and lack of informed consent, and Scherping alone for battery.
Due to persistent lower back pain, Kronenberg had x-rays, two MRIs and a CT scan between October 2012 and July 2014, according to the lawsuit. Although Kaiser medical staff noted “mild degenerative changes in Kronenberg’s lumbar spine and an undefined mass, which they characterized as a ‘likely cyst at right kidney pole,’” no one told Kronenberg about the mass, she claims.
Kronenberg decided to have a spinal laminectomy and fusion, according to the complaint, unaware of the mass. Scherping, the surgeon who performed the surgery, did not warn her about the potential for increased pain from the surgery, she says. Neither Scherping nor anyone else from Kaiser mentioned the tumor, she says.
“The surgery took several hours longer then Scherping had allotted because, upon commencing the surgery, Scherping found a large mass had grown on Kronenberg’s lumbar spine,” the complaint states.
“Sometime during the surgery, Scherping came out of the operating room to discuss the status of the operation with Kronenberg’s family. Scherping then described the mass as a ‘rosebush wrapped around her spine,’ and commented that he had never seen anything like it and that he did not expect to see what he had found,” it continues.
“Despite his lack of experience in removing a mass from lumbar spine, Scherping continued to remove the mass and to conduct the laminectomy and fusion on Kronenberg,” it says.
Kronenberg contends that Scherping did not review any of her diagnostic images, or ignored the results, and did not get her informed consent before removing the tumor. He did not have the proper skill and experience to do so correctly, she claims. If she had been fully informed of the risks, she would not have consented to have him do the surgery and would have seen someone else, she says. As a result of Scherping and Kaiser’s handling of her treatment, Kronenberg has “suffered substantial physical injury, pain, mental suffering and emotional distress, loss of employment opportunity and earning capacity, and loss of enjoyment of life,” the complaint states.
Linda Kronenberg seeks $2.15 million, punitive damages of $350,000, pre- and post- judgment interest, costs of suit, and a jury trial. She is represented by Robert O. Wilson of Wilson Law in Harrisonburg, Va. and Mitchell J. Rotbert of Rotbert Business Law in Gaithersburg, Md.