Kaiser Attempts to Take Woman’s Malpractice Award, She Says
SPOKANE, Wash. (CN) – A woman who is fighting Kaiser’s attempt to take her small medical malpractice settlement award says Kaiser is in violation of Washington’s Consumer Protection Law in Spokane County Superior Court.
Emily Hope sues Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Washington, doing business as Kaiser Permanente, for declaratory relief and consumer protection violations.
Hope saw Dr. Mark Paxton in September 2016 to have seven teeth pulled. She developed a large abscess and had to be hospitalized for emergency irrigation, debridement and IV antibiotic therapy, according to her action.
“Kaiser paid out $22,432.98 in medical expenses,” the suit states.
Hope sued Paxton for medical negligence, claiming he did not timely diagnose or treat the infection or seek to transfer her care to a specialist, and that her pain and disfigurement were increased due to the delay in treatment.
“This matter settled for a nuisance value sum in an amount far less than plaintiff Hope believed would fully compensate her, primarily to avoid the expense of litigation,” the suit states. Kaiser was aware of the confidential settlement amount.
Then Kaiser demanded Hope pay them $11,930.03, the medical expense amount less “its proportional share of attorneys’ fees and costs in recovering an award from Paxton” directly. Hope denies that she received an award for medical expenses above what she was compensated toward pain and suffering.
“The act of demanding recovery of medical payments paid, without specifically justifying how these payments are in excess of what would be considered full compensation for general and other pecuniary damages in a personal injury settlement, constitutes an unfair or deceptive act in trade or commerce,” according to the action.
Hope seeks a ruling that Kaiser’s claim is void and that the claimed amount is not owed, in addition to legal costs and damages for violation of Washington’s Consumer Protection Act violations.
The plaintiff is represented by Keith S. Douglass of Keith S. Douglass and Associates, LLP in Spokane, Washington.