Lawsuits Filed After Kaiser Transplant Debacle

Lawsuits Filed After Kaiser Transplant Debacle

Three lawsuits were filed against Kaiser Permanente last week, marking the first of a potential flood of cases against the giant HMO after the recent revelation of serious problems with its kidney transplant program.

A recent investigation revealed that Kaiser had denied 25 patients perfectly matched kidney transplants as a result of paperwork delays and errors.

The HMO started its transplant program after taking over the program from UC San Francisco. Of the 1,500 patients the HMO forced to move to its program, hundreds were left imperiled in hopeless limbo when Kaiser failed to properly transfer their paperwork.

One woman said her husband died after Kaiser passed him over for a transplant because of fumbled paperwork. Another woman claimed that the transplant delay caused her condition to progressively worsen.

The third plaintiff, Phillip Maxson, alleged that a Kaiser doctor advised him to go overseas for a kidney transplant. Maxson has been on dialysis for six years and worries that the delay has caused him irreparable damage.

“My biggest fear is when a kidney comes up, they’re going to say, ‘Your condition is so deteriorated, we’re not going to give you one,’” said Maxson.

Los Angeles attorney William Newkirk remarked, “It’s just an example of egregious care. Kaiser calculated, understood, and chose to proceed with a course of conduct that they knew would cause harm to patients, and that’s the kind of thing lawyers want to litigate.”

More lawsuits are expected to be filed in the coming weeks.

Contact us to speak with an attorney if Kaiser has denied you or someone you love a kidney transplant

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