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Tuesday, July 23, 2024 | Back issues
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Herniated Disc Woes Lobbed at Kaiser

LOS ANGELES (CN) - Two Kaiser doctors prescribed physical therapy and medication for a retired police officer's back pain, when she needed surgery, she claims in Los Angeles Superior Court.

Julie Frank sued Kaiser Foundation Hospital, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc., Southern California Permanente Medical Group, Brian Jai Shin, M.D.; Peter W.K. Yeung, M.D. and Brian A. Ahangar, M.D. for medical malpractice.

According to her complaint, 54-year-old Frank was injured in the line of duty. Over time, her back pain became "unbearable" and she was "unable to stand and stay upright on her own," her complaint states.

Kaiser orthopedic doctor Peter W.K. Yeung saw her in July 2012 and ordered an MRI, which was done by radiologist Brian Jai Shin, according to the complaint.

"Plaintiff underwent conservative treatment modalities with defendant Yeung but plaintiff's condition continued to become worse. Plaintiff was hospitalized at Kaiser for approximately two weeks but was told during her hospitalization that there were no indications for surgery on her back. She was told that her condition was degenerative and that there was nothing that could be done other than physical therapy, medication and/or epidurals, all of which plaintiff attempted for relief," the complaint states.

"Some of this treatment, particularly the physical therapy, only made the pain worse," it continues.

Frank requested a transfer to Dr. Brian A. Ahangar, "who wrote in his initial report regarding the plaintiff that plaintiff had requested transfer of care [and he] was therefore following up for low back pain but that plaintiff was doing better with pain control. This is a misstatement of the subjective complaints of the plaintiff who reported to defendant Ahangar that she had received no relief through her treatment with defendant Yeung and that her condition was becoming worse, resulting in a loss of bladder control, and therefore plaintiff sought the change of care to a new physician for proper diagnosis and treatment. However, defendant Ahangar diagnosed plaintiff improperly, not realizing that plaintiff needed surgery," according to the complaint.

Finally, in Jan. 2013, Frank says she went to (non-party) Cedars Sinai for help, where she was diagnosed with a herniated disc and operated on that same day. She notes that this diagnosis was based on a correct reading of the MRI Kaiser had done.

Plaintiff seeks compensatory and general damages and costs of suit. She is represented by Sohaila Sagheb of Woodland Hills.

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