Kaiser Did Not Act to Prevent Suicide, Family Claim
7-31-2018 00:49:00

OLYMPIA, Wash. (CN) – Kaiser should have done more to prevent the suicide death of their loved one, family members claim in their Thurston County Superior Court lawsuit.

Lin Pech, as personal representative of the estate of Chhoeum Pam, sues Kaiser Foundation Health Plan Northwest, doing business as Kaiser Permanente, Peacehealth, doing business as Peacehealth St. John Medical Center Foundation, Peacehealth St. John Medical Center Foundation, doing business as Peacehealth St. John Medical Center, Cascade Emergency Physicians, Inc., Melissa Campbell M.D., Francisco Chan Jr., M.D., Po-Shen Chang, M.D., Jonathan Ebbing, M.D., Sarah H. Harmon, P.A., Ann Horstman, PhD., Eva Marie Hyatt, N.P., Asmarawork T. Measho, CRNP, Timothy Jessick, M.D., Grace Kaw, M.D., Catherine Mahone, P.A., Christopher Manzone, PA, Joseph McKenzie, PA, Richard Rosenfeld, M.D., Josef Turner, M.D., and Mary Varghese, M.D. for wrongful death, survival actions, and medical negligence.

Pech’s mother, Chhoeum Pam, came from Cambodia and immigrated to the United States to live with her family in Longview, Washington, according to the action.

She had received healthcare services from Kaiser from 2004, until her death in 2015, including care for mental and emotional problems. She is survived by her husband, three children and two step-children, the suit states.

Pech says his mother did not speak English well, and the family was not aware of the significance of her symptoms and the risk of those symptoms.

“Kaiser Permanente was negligent and grossly negligent by failing to maintain adequate systems, including policies, procedures, protocols, guidelines and algorithms, to adequately identify, treat, and protect patients, including patients at risk for suicide, including Chhoeum Ram,” the suit states.

The defendant individual providers did not perform adequate suicide assessments, did not provide “continuity of psychiatric care,” did not assess the patient’s psychiatric needs or provide adequate psychiatric treatment and did not assess whether her illness could be managed on an outpatient basis or whether she needed voluntary or involuntary hospitalization, according to the action.

Defendant Turner provided care to the plaintiff’s mother as an agent of the Peacehealth and Cascade defendants for a period of time prior to her death, the suit states. The other individual providers are agents of Kaiser.

Pech seeks damages for lost wages, medical and funeral expenses, pain, suffering, disability and loss of ability to enjoy life, loss of spousal and familial relationships, general and special damages, interest, and legal costs. She is represented by Sidney Stillerman Royer of Leemon Royer, PLLC, and David Heller of Heller Law Firm, PLLC, both in Seattle, Washington.