A jury awarded a Chatsworth woman $28 million on Thursday after agreeing that Kaiser Permanente’s Woodland Hills facility bungled the treatment for what turned out to be a cancerous tumor, according to the woman’s law firm.
The L.A. Superior Court jury found that Kaiser was “medically negligent” in the treatment of Anna Rahm, who lost her right leg, half of her pelvis and parts of her spine when she was a teenager following delayed surgery for her condition, according to Shernoff Bidart Echeverria Bentley LLP, a Beverly Hills law firm whose Claremont office handled the case.
In 2008, at age 17, Rahm began experiencing lower back pain. After unsuccessful chiropractic treatments in February 2009, her chiropractor urged her to get an MRI at Kaiser Permanente, where she was a patient, according to the complaint.
She and her mother went to the Kaiser facility in Woodland Hills, but doctors there didn’t immediately order an MRI. When the MRI was finally performed in July 2009, it revealed a large tumor. After months of chemotherapy, Rahm had surgeries that removed her right leg, part of her pelvis and a portion of her spine in at Kaiser’s Baldwin Hills hospital, according to the complaint.
The $28 million was for future medical expenses, future loss of earnings, and pain and suffering. The trial lasted four weeks in Los Angeles Superior Court.
“Although we understand the jury’s findings and wish only the best for Ms. Rahm, highly respected medical experts testified that the medical care provided was appropriate,” Kaiser said in a statement published by the Los Angeles Times. “We will be evaluating in the days ahead how best to respond to this verdict.”
According to the Times, Rahm now 23, attends Cal State Northridge.