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Teen Gets $5 Million Arbitration Award From Kaiser Hospital After Brain Injury

Wednesday, September, 4, 2013

Teen Gets $5 Million Arbitration Award From Kaiser Hospital After Brain Injury


A recent binding arbitration ruling out of California granted Ray Palmer, 19, and his mother, Andrea Palmer, $5 million in settlement for brain injuries sustained while he was under the care of health professionals at Kaiser Hospital.  According to the arbitrator’s ruling, the hospital was responsible for the debilitating injuries he sustained—injuries that will likely require constant care for the rest of his life. 


Palmer was wounded at Chula Vista trolley stop when was caught in the middle of a fight.  He suffered several stab wounds, including one to his chest.  When he arrived at the hospital, health care workers inserted a breathing tube to help his breathing regulate.  However, over the next 12 hours of his stay, he coughed up the breathing tube multiple times.  Ray’s mother informed the nursing staff that it was happening and according to Bob Vaage, attorney for the Palmers, "They were aware he was at high risk of the tube disconnecting and they didn't do anything about it."


At one point when the tube became dislodged, Palmer went into cardiac arrest. Going without oxygen for 13 minutes, Palmer suffered severe brain damage in which he will require round-the-clock care for the rest of his life. 


"I'm angry.  I can't believe this is health care, because there was a lack of care," said his mother, who claims that the $5 million settlement will not be enough to cover her son’s long-term care for the rest of his life.  However, California has state laws that cap the amount victims can receive in medical negligence claims. 


Hospital officials allege that despite their sympathy for Ray’s injuries, they gave the best care possible and disagree with the arbitrator’s ruling.  According to their statement, “We believe the clinical team provided appropriate care in this matter and this was corroborated by outside experts."