Tuesday, July 22, 2014         

 Print   Email   Comment | View 4 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

Health center, man's family reach $2.5 million settlement

By Associated Press


Attorneys for a 33-year-old man's family who claimed his toe infection turned deadly because of negligent treatment at the Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center said a $2.5 million settlement has been reached.

Attorneys for Chad Kita­yama's fiancee and parents said the settlement was put on the record during a federal court hearing Tuesday, but that it is subject to final approval by the U.S. Department of Justice. The lawsuit was filed last year in federal court because of the health center's federal funding.

The U.S. attorney's office in Hawaii denied the allegations in the lawsuit. Elliot Enoki, first assistant U.S. attorney, said Wednesday in an email there's no settlement until it's been formalized and finalized. He said even if it were finalized, his office wouldn't comment unless it's in a public document.

Kitayama went to the health center's Nanakuli clinic on Jan. 4, 2011, with a red, swollen lump between toes on his left foot, according to the lawsuit, and he was prescribed Bactrim, an antibiotic. He went back the next day with pain in his left hip and thigh, a pounding headache and red eyes with yellow crust. He was sent to the comprehensive's emergency room, where he was given painkillers and told to continue taking Bactrim.

According to the lawsuit, he went back to the clinic five more times with severe headaches, eye pain, leg pain, nausea, vomiting and a rash and then to the ER on Jan. 12, where it was determined he had renal and liver failure and needed to be transferred immediately to the Queen's Medical Center. He remained at Queen's until he died Feb. 20, 2011.

He had multi-organ failure because he was allergic to the antibiotic, says the lawsuit, which was filed in August 2012.

"It was very sad, very tragic," said Richard Turbin, one of the family's lawyers. "They didn't do the proper blood work-up, which would have shown he was allergic."

Chief Medical Officer Dr. Stephen Bradley said in a statement Wednesday that the health center extends condolences to the family. "At Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center, every one of our patients is precious to us and we grieve the loss of any of them," he said.

Kitayama was an out-of-work forklift operator who was working as a greeter at Target, preparing to marry his fiancee.

"He came in for a very benign problem," Turbin said. "The cure was worse than the disease."

 Print   Email   Comment | View 4 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

You must be subscribed to participate in discussions
By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. Because only subscribers are allowed to comment, we have your personal information and are able to contact you. If your comments are inappropriate, you may receive a warning, and if you persist with such comments you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email commentfeedback@staradvertiser.com.
Leave a comment

Please login to leave a comment.
lowtone123 wrote:
They should have suspected an allergic reaction to the antibiotic the first time he went back.
on November 14,2013 | 07:55AM
Bully wrote:
The patient went back five times? and they couldn't figure out that he was allergic? I would never go the Waianae Comp Center for any kind of treatment. Its like going to Tripler with something minor and ending up dead.
on November 14,2013 | 08:07AM
kuewa wrote:
Contrary to the statement by the family's lawyer, no bloodwork would have been needed to diagnose the condition. In the first place, Bactrim was the wrong medication for this type of infection. Secondly, his symptoms were classic for an adverse reaction to sulfa drugs. The family should have sued not only the Health Center, but also any licensed physician or health care provider involved in this case. In addition, the relevant State licensing board(s) should be investigating.
on November 14,2013 | 12:12PM
mitt_grund wrote:
Don't ever need emergency medical while on that side of the island. It could be terminal.
on November 14,2013 | 01:41PM
Latest News/Updates
Wassup Wit Dat!
Silver Pockets Full

Political Radar

Political Radar

Island Crafters
Christmas in July

Political Radar
IBEW endorsement

Warrior Beat
Travel day