Woman Paralyzed After Failure to Order Tests, $28M Suit Claims
1-3-2019 21:46:00

PORTLAND, Ore. (CN) – A Kaiser doctors’ failure to order appropriate tests to check that a woman's breast cancer had not spread to her spine resulted in paraplegia, she claims in her Multnomah County Circuit Court case.

Nancy L. Tavano and Jeffrey Tavano sued Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, Northwest Permanente, P.C., Soames F. Boyle, M.D., Valentina Antonova, M.D., Loren E. Jenkins, M.D., Luis R. Manriquez, M.D., Priti P. Khanijou, M.D., Brady W. Wagner, M.D., Daniel L. Platter, M.D., Marc C. Rothgery, M.D., and Saskia Van Der Wal, M.D., for medical negligence and loss of consortium.

Nancy Tavano says she saw defendant Antonova for primary care and defendant Boyle for oncological care following her diagnosis of breast cancer and her mastectomy in 2012. In April of 2016, she reported to Kaiser defendant “a new onset of bilateral back pain with no history of trauma,” according to the action.

She made additional reports of the back pain to defendants Antonova, Boyle and Rothgery, but none of the defendants ordered or performed a bone scan, MRI or CT to diagnose or rule out bone metastasis, the suit states.
By December 2016, Nancy Tavano says she was seen by defendant Van Der Wal with continuing back pain “not relieved by morphine.” He ordered a CT scan, which revealed metastasis in her spine.

However, she was seen in early January 2017 by defendant Platter for chest and back pain, but was again discharged without a neurological, neurosurgical or radiation oncologist consult. His determination was that it was “clearly spastic,” the action notes.

Two days later she was admitted to the hospital by defendant Khanijou, but the appropriate consultations were still not obtained, Tavano says. Her symptoms worsened over the following two days, until she lost the ability to move her legs and lost bowel control. 

By that time, it was determined that “it was too late for surgery,” according to the action. Tavano says she now has permanent paralysis due to the spinal cord compression caused by the metastatic lesion.

Nancy Tavano seeks economic damages for past and future medical care, domestic services, and lost wages and impaired earnings of $5 million, and non-economic damages for past and future pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life and inability to engage in activities apart from employment of $20 million. 

Jeffrey Tavano seeks $3 million for “loss of society, companionship, consortium services, and support.”

The plaintiffs are represented by John M. Coletti of Paulson Coletti in Portland, Oregon.