Medical Malpractice is All We Do
You Deserve a Lawyer Who is Also a Medical Doctor
With Over $1.4 Billion Recovered For Our Clients

B. K. v Kaiser

Dr. Fagel achieved a settlement of $924,692 on behalf of a 72-year-old woman who now suffers from partial paralysis and requires in-home assistance after a massive right side stroke suffered on February 12, 2002.

Brijinder Kahlon had been a patient at Kaiser since 1974 and aside from treated for hypertension with basic medication; she possessed a relatively healthy bill of health. In early February 2002, Ms. Kahlon began experiencing a rapid heart rate which would persist for several hours then stop. The plaintiff was taken to a Kasier emergency room and an EKG showed atrial fibrillation. Next, Kahlon made an appointment with a Kaiser internist who noted that she was in normal sinus rhythm and that since there was only one documented episode of rapid heart rate, the doctor diagnosed the plaintiff as paroxysmal atrial fibrillation. The doctor additionally told the patient to take Aspirin daily and noted that she should discuss taking Coumadin with her primary physician if the symptoms continue.

After complaining about extreme exhaustion, a new appointment was made with a Kaiser family physician. The doctor acknowledged the risk for stroke, but due to the daily Aspiring, decided the risk was low and believed she would be safe until she saw her primary care doctor. Additionally, the family physician warned the primary care specialist regarding Coumadin, believing that the medication combined with hypertension could lead to a hemorrhagic stroke.

Less than one week later, the plaintiff was found by her son lying on the floor of her house. The patient was taken to the Mt. Diablo Hospital where she was diagnosed with a severe right sided stroke, which left her partially paralyzed and unable to drive a car. After being discharged from a stroke rehabilitation center, the plaintiff has been cared for at home by her family.

The defendants contended that they complied within the standards of care in instructing the plaintiff to take Aspirin, which provides some protection to low-risk patients. Additionally, three Kaiser experts testified that Coumadin would not have broken up an existing clot, which most likely caused the stroke. However, Dr. Fagel was able to demonstrate that the defendant's physicians were negligent in not placing the patient on Coumadin. The patient was in a high risk category for stroke from atrial fibrillation due to her age and hypertension. Coumadin takes 3-4 days to reach therapeutic levels and treatment by February would have prevented the stroke.