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Tuesday, July 23, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Kaiser Put Unsafe Driver on Road, Victim Says

SAN JOSE, Calif. (CN) - A woman couldn't drive safely, but a Kaiser doctor said she could, an injured child and his guardian claim in Santa Clara Superior Court.

Through his guardian ad litem Rahman Moqadam, minor Ali Moqadam sued The Permanente Medical Group, Inc., Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. and Maryalice Ambrose, M.D. for medical negligence, and driver Alma Valencia for negligence.

According to the complaint, Dr. Maryalice Ambrose treated Alma Valencia for a seizure disorder.

"Based on a Driver Medical Evaluation (DME) completed by Dr. Ambrose, the State of California Department of Motor Vehicles suspended the driver's license of defendant Alma Valencia, thereby prohibiting her from driving legally in the State of California," in 2005, it states.

But two years later, Dr. Ambrose filled out a new DME and "based on the advice and recommendation included in that new DME, the State of California Department of Motor Vehicles reinstated the driving privileges of defendant Alma Valencia without restriction," the complaint continues.

Dr. Ambrose continued to treat Alma Valencia for another three years after that new DME was turned in, even though Valencia "continued to suffer from a seizure disorder during that time, was non-compliant with anti-seizure medications during that time, and had suffered multiple lapses of consciousness during that time due to the seizure disorder, all of which affected her ability to safely operate a motor vehicle," according to the complaint.

Then in June 2010, "defendant Alma Valencia suffered a seizure while driving defendant's vehicle, which resulted in defendant's vehicle being involved in a major traffic accident. The impact from the collision resulted in personal injuries, including but not limited to traumatic brain injury to plaintiff," the complaint states.

Ali Moqadam's guardian seeks general damages, medical and related expenses, damages for loss of income and earning ability and costs of suit. Plaintiffs are represented by Michael Karns of Karns & Karns in Los Angeles.

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