Botched Cortisone Shot Caused Bone Infection, Patient Claims
3-4-2014 16:43:00

     SANTA ANA, Calif. (CN) - Kaiser’s wayward cortisone shot caused a bone infection requiring part of a woman’s clavicle to be removed, she claims in a complaint filed in Orange County Superior Court.
     Terri Patton sued Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc., Southern Permanente Medical Group and four physicians – Steven Manmang Ma, Edward Han-Tin Yan, David Szu-hong Liu and James Patrick Murphy – for willful misconduct, negligence, fraudulent concealment, constructive fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, medical battery and lack of informed consent.
     According to Patton’s lawsuit, she saw Dr. Murphy at Kaiser’s Anaheim facility for physical therapy after she injured her left knee, left upper arm, right shoulder, neck, lower back and right wrist at work. A few months later, after no improvement in her right shoulder, she had an MRI and was told she had a “degenerative problem,” Patton says.
     This was followed by two cortisone injections, in February and March of 2012, administered by “Doe Defendant 1” and supervised by Dr. Yian, the complaint continues. Patton says while moving the needle around in her shoulder, under Dr. Yian’s instructions, “Doe Defendant 1” hit her bone.
     As a result of the second injection, Patton “initially developed bruising and swelling in the area of the injection that lasted for about two weeks, and pain in her right shoulder that has lasted until the present. Although the defendants’ notes falsely stated that plaintiff ‘tolerated’ the injection ‘well,’ in reality plaintiff experienced dizziness from the injection and had to lie down for half an hour after the procedure,” her complaint states.
     Three days afterward, Patton saw Dr. Liu at Kaiser’s Anaheim facility and said she was concerned the injection site was infected, according to the complaint.
     “However, defendant Liu told her that there was no problem, to put ice on the site and to ‘monitor’ the site. Defendant Liu then discharged her, without taking measures to determine if the complaints were due to an infection,” Patton’s complaint states.
     A week later, the complaint continues, Patton’s bruising, swelling and pain had still not gone down, and now glands in her neck were swollen. Patton again saw her primary care physician, Dr. Murphy, who “dismissed plaintiff’s concerns, telling her there was no way the glands swollen in her neck were related to the second cortisone injection,” it says.
     Patton then changed her primary care physican to Dr. Ma, who “informed plaintiff that she had bone deterioration in her right shoulder, but did not express any opinion or diagnosis as to the etiology of the condition,” according to the complaint.
     About three months later, Dr. Ma operated on Patton’s shoulder, telling her “the procedure’s object was to ‘clean up’ the bone deterioration he had found. However, after plaintiff came out of the surgery, she was informed that defendant Ma had in fact removed part of her acromioclavicular joint as well as part of her clavicle (collar bone),” she says. (Parentheses in complaint.)
     When Patton asked Dr. Ma for more information about the surgery, “her requests were rebuffed,” and, like Dr. Murphy before him, Dr. Ma insisted Patton’s swollen glands were unrelated to the cortisone injection.
     Patton says she needed a second surgery six months later, because her bone loss had caused a detached bicep muscle.
     Patton is represented by Stephen F. Dial of Dial & Associates in Anaheim Hills, Calif.