Man Blames Kaiser for 8-Month Wait for Ankle Break Surgery
7-16-2014 00:59:00

PORTLAND, Ore. (CN) - A man needed ankle surgery, but two Kaiser doctors and a physician’s assistant overlooked a fracture, he claims in Multnomah County Circuit Court.

     Andrew P. Newcomb sued Kaiser Permanente, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Northwest, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc., Northwest Permanente, P.C., physician’s assistant Jeffrey Myers and doctors Christopher J. Rae and Louis H. Liu, for medical negligence and breach of contract.
     Newcomb hurt his left ankle playing soccer in Nov. 2011, according to his lawsuit. He had an x-ray at Kaiser’s Tualatin facility, which physician’s assistant Jeffrey Myers said “showed no fracture. Defendant Myers diagnosed plaintiff Newcomb as having a ‘severe sprain,’ and recommended rest, ice, compression and elevation of the foot, and Advil, up to 500 mg twice a day with food,” the complaint states.
     Newcomb says his ankle “continued to swell and cause him severe pain, discomfort and limping, requiring the use of crutches for walking, and did not improve with time.”
On Jan. 30, 2012, Newcomb saw family specialist Dr. Louis Liu, who ordered an MRI and told him to call back in two weeks for the results, according to the complaint. Newcomb did so, and Dr. Liu diagnosed “arthralgia (joint pain) of ankle or foot,” and referred him for physical therapy, according to the complaint. [Parentheses added.]
     In April, after Newcomb’s pain and swelling had still not improved, he saw orthopedic specialist Dr. Christopher Jason Rae, who “diagnosed plaintiff’s injury as a ‘sprain of ankle,’” the complaint states.
     After still more non-improvement, Dr. Rae ordered a second MRI on May 23, which was done on June 2, followed by another diagnosis of “arthralgia,” according to the complaint.
     On June 13, a third (non-party) doctor reviewed Newcomb’s Nov. 2011 x-ray, and diagnosed a fractured talus, or ankle bone, according to the complaint. She ordered a CT scan and “further diagnosed the fracture as ‘non-union,’ a serious complication that required surgical repair,” the complaint states.
     Newcomb had surgery on July 30, about eight and a half months after the original injury, according to the complaint.
     “Following surgery he underwent physical therapy and ultimately plaintiff Newcomb’s prior symptoms resolved,” the complaint states.
     Newcomb seeks $3,500 in economic damages, $46,400 in non-economic damages and $49,900 for breach of contract, plus costs and disbursements. He is represented by Danna C. Fogarty.