Kaiser Permanente Malpractice Lawsuit Settled in Oregon

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By: AboutLawsuits | Published: July 9th, 2009

The family of a 3-year old Portland, Oregon boy who died following a surgical error, has settled their medical malpractice lawsuit against Kaiser Permanente and a doctor who is under investigation for leaving a trail of medical mistakes and deaths from the U.S. to Australia.

The Kaiser Permanente lawsuit, filed by the parents of Ian Murillo McClellan, charged Dr. Jayant Patel with medical malpractice and negligence that led to their son’s death in 1999. Patel allegedly perforated the boy’s bowel while putting a feeding tube inside of him on Feb. 5, 1999.

Although Patel later performed surgery to correct the problem, the child died of septic shock a short time later. The wrongful death lawsuit charged that Kaiser Permanente, Patel and OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital provided negligent medical treatment and lied to the parents, saying the boy died of an infection of unknown origin.

Patel, who worked at Kaiser Permanente in Portland from 1989 to 2001, has been tied to a number of surgical mistakes at Kaiser Permanente, many of which did not come to light until The Oregonian did a special report on Patel in 2005.

Patel was a respected Kaiser Permanente doctor for more than a decade. He trained young surgeons and was voted “Distinguished Physician of the Year” in 1995 by his fellow doctors. But he also had a history of botched operations that possibly contributed to the deaths of four patients.

In 1998, Kaiser Permanente put him on a plan to improve his performance, requiring him to enroll in courses and get second opinions before operating. In 2000, the Oregon Board of Medical Examiners restricted him from performing complex surgical procedures due to negligence.

Patel subsequently applied for, and was hired to, the chief surgeon position at Bundaberg Base Hospital in Queensland, Australia in 2002. He did not disclose his medical malpractice history in Oregon to the hospital and an Australian commission has connected Patel to the deaths of 13 patients. Patel is currently awaiting trial in Australia, facing charges of fraud and the manslaughter of three patients.

According to a recent report in The Orgonian, the Kaiser Permanente malpractice lawsuit was settled for $200,000 and it is unclear how payment will be divided between Kaiser, Patel and OHSU.

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There Are 2 Comments So Far • (Add Your Comments)

  1. Is there a class action suit being brought against Kaiser regarding the employment of Dr. Jay Patel? He perfofmed a bowel resection on me in October 1999. It was later redone by another surgeon several years later after much pain and problems.

  2. I live in Atlanta, Ga. and have Kaiser insurance. The practices I have been part of and witnessed are lawsuit worthy. The Dr. Patel malpractice case is sad for the family, but the $200,000 as the settlement for a childs life is worse.
    Kaiser practices what I call 60% medcial insurance. You are left to emailing your doctor (No phone numbers allowed) and wait days to hear about vital procedures and medications. They refuse to cover any prescription of 100 tablets regardless of the medication. Any drug costing $75.00 or more is not covered. They will prescribe Morphine and Oxycodone for fibromyalgia but won’t pay for Cymbalta or Savela. Pain meds are cheaper, but addictive. I was on Cymbalta for many years before Kaiser but they cut me off to put me on meds which cost $5.00.

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