Family Who Sued Kaiser After Daughter’s Death Fights Law That Limits Malpractice Payout
BALDWIN PARK (CBSLA.com) — A family who sued Kaiser Permanente Medical Center after the death of their 10-year-old daughter is outraged over a law that limits the payout in a malpractice suit.
Dekel Zelig said his wife took their daughter, Daniela, to Kaiser in Baldwin Park after the youngster wasn’t feeling well in March 2012.
“She was vomiting, she was nauseous, she had a fever, she didn’t feel good,” Zelig said.
The father said the doctor sent Daniela home without monitoring her blood pressure or taking an X-ray. He said the doctor checked his daughter’s lungs with a stethoscope on top of her jacket.
“She said she’s got the flu, she gave her some Tylenol, they went back home,” Zelig said.
The next morning, however, Daniela’s little brother found her in bed—lifeless.
“She died the next morning in the house,” Zelig said.
Zelig said an autopsy in the morgue revealed the truth.
“He told us she had probably five days pneumonia prior coming to the doctor,” Zelig said.
CBS2’s Stacey Butler reported that the Zelig family decided to sue Kaiser, but most attorneys wouldn’t take their case.
“For the loss of a loved one in terms of the loss of love and comfort…is $250,000. That’s been the law for the last 39 years,” attorney Jin Lew said.
Zelig wasn’t entitled to more money because of the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act, which limits the payout in a malpractice suit if a non-wage earning family member is killed.
“It’s outrageous. It’s unbelievable. It’s a joke. It’s adding insult to injury,” Zelig said.
Zelig and his attorney plan to take the fight against the MICRA cap to legislature.
In a statement, Kaiser Permanente spokesperson Sandra Hernandez-Millett said, “Our deepest sympathies go out to the Zelig family for the passing of their daughter Daniela. Especially following a tragedy like this, we review our care to ensure that we are taking all appropriate steps to provide high quality care. We reinforce our commitment to our patients’ health, to delivering quality care, and to continuous quality improvement.”