San Diego-based attorney Robert Vaage secured more than $3.4 million in damages on behalf of a man who was rendered partial paraplegic as a result of a delayed MRI order.

Vaage, principal of his law firm, represented plaintiff John Mitchell, who was seen by physicians in the Kaiser Permanente health system six times between February 1 and 17 of 2018 with escalating signs and symptoms of a spinal cord compression.

On February 19, Mitchell had an MRI, which revealed a disc compression in the thoracic spine. Emergency decompressive surgery was performed at T9-T10, but unfortunately, the damage was permanent. “Kaiser’s physicians had multiple opportunities to ensure that an MRI was performed. Mitchell fell through the cracks,” Vaage said following the resolution in October.

The award of $3,469,778 was awarded by a Kaiser arbitrator, who said: “The inexcusable delay in conducting the thoracic spine MRI that made the correct diagnosis possible was a proximate cause of Mitchell’s current disabilities. Expert opinion to the contrary offered by respondent [Kaiser] was thoroughly impeached and is found to have been not credible.”

The Kaiser Permanente health care system has a huge presence in the United States, particularly on the west coast and mid-Atlantic states.


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