Kaiser Left Part of Tumor on Man's Spine, He Says
By Barbara Wallace
PORTLAND, Ore. (CN) - Kaiser doctors were slow to diagnose and treat a man's spinal tumor and did not remove it all when they finally operated, he claims in Multnomah County Superior Court.
As a result, he needed a second operation and has permanent neurological problems, he says in his complaint.
In March and April of 2011, David Gregg went to Kaiser for "low back pain, abnormal urination issues and pain in his back related to trying to urinate," the complaint says. A CT scan was done and, "no kidney stones were found and no explanation for the pain. Defendant Kaiser's employee Dr. Benjamin Erickson wanted to wait and see what developed," according to the complaint.
Two weeks later, Gregg's symptoms had become worse and now included "wobbly legs, left leg not moving the same as right, catching left toe or sole of shoe when walking unlike any previous experience," the complaint says. He reported these changes to Dr. Erickson who referred him to urology, according to the complaint.
On June 6, after Gregg's symptoms had escalated further, he "complained of increased numbness that had moved up his feet to his legs and in the last few days progressed above his knees, that he was no longer able to walk normally and felt like his legs would buckle when he got out of bed in the morning," Gregg says in his complaint.
Finally, Gregg had a neurology consult, followed by surgery on June 12 to remove the tumor, performed by defendant Dr. Wrobel and (non-party) Dr. Jenkins, according to the complaint.
"After the surgery, Dr. Wrobel told David Gregg's family he did not remove the entire [tumor]. Dr. Wrobel told plaintiff no follow up testing was necessary because the tumors take decades to grow and he would be dead before it was a problem," the complaint states.
Nonetheless, Gregg continued to have "new areas of numbness and increased numbness," and "was diagnosed with a recurrence" of his tumor in Dec. of 2011, the complaint says. "Plaintiff underwent a second surgery after which it was determined that Mr. Gregg suffered permanent neurologic compromise as the result of the negligence and delayed treatment," according to the complaint.
Plaintiff seeks $7.5 million and is represented by Jane Paulson of Paulson Coletti.