Arbitrator Fails to Find Negligence in Removal of Healthy Bowel, Couple Says
2-15-2013 12:03:00

(CN) - A California couple says that an arbitrator's finding that Kaiser doctors did not act negligently in removing nearly 24 inches of healthy bowel from the husband should be set aside.

Joshua and Lisa Tucker say in a Riverside County court petition to set aside arbitration that Southern California Permanente Medical Group doctors Michael Lawrence and Sonny Wang acted negligently, first by waiting nearly 24 hours to treat Joshua Tucker's bowel obstruction and then by removing 60 centimeters of healthy bowel tissue when they eventually took him into surgery. The man claims he will be fed through a tube for the rest of his life because of the doctors' actions.

But while the arbitrator found Lawrence's and Wang's conduct "very troublesome" and "left a lot to be desired," he failed to find they were negligent, according to the Tuckers.

"Further, there was no mention of the nine hours of excruciating pain claimant had to endure while in the care of Dr. Wang and the fact that he developed peritonitis during that period of time. Further, during that time his wife looked on in horror as her husband deteriorated before her eyes. Lastly, although the arbitrator touched upon Dr. Lawrence's decree that claimant 'could be woken up for them to say goodbye as he was going to die,' he failed to rule on the negligence of that act or the injury to Mrs. Tucker, who is also a claimant," the petition states.

The Tuckers seek to vacate the arbitration decision because of "its failure to address and decide the majority of the issues submitted." They are represented by Patricia A. Law of Riverside, Calif.