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ARLAN A. COHEN, M.D., J.D. (S.B.N. 149200)

COHEN & RUDD

225 SOUTH LAKE AVENUE

SUITE 403

PASADENA, CALIFORNIA 91101-3005

(626) 449-0404

(626) 449-1673 FACSIMILE


Attorneys for Plaintiffs




SUPERIOR COURT FOR THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA


FOR THE COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES



SEVERO CAUSING, JR., RUTH GALLENERO, 
PETE CAUSING, MAY LEYRIT CAUSING, 
CHRISTINA CAUSING, KAYRA CAUSING, 
MAY CAUSING, IRENE DEANON, LAURIE 
MICHELLE DEANON,JAN MICHAEL DEANON, 
HEATHER JOY DEANON, ESTRELLA CAMPOS, 
BOY CAMPOS, JEANNANE CAMPOS, 
JEFFREY CAMPOS, LUNA POSA, TONY POSA, 
MARK POSA, CHRISTIE POSA, CARMEN AVILA, 
RUBY CAUSING PANUNCIALMAN, 
AS PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVES OF 
THE ESTATE OF SOTERO CAUSING, 

DECEDENT,

Plaintiffs,

v.

KAISER FOUNDATION HEALTH PLAN, INC., 
KAISER FOUNDATION HOSPITALS AND 
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA PERMANENTE 
MEDICAL GROUP, ARASH KHARESTAN, M.D., 
GERALD BECKHAM, M.D., 
HUGH GREATHOUSE, M.D. and 
DOES 1 through 100, inclusive,

Defendants.

CASE NO. BC346842

ASSIGNED FOR ALL PURPOSES TO:

Honorable John Shepard Wiley, Dept. “50"


[PROPOSED] FIRST AMENDED 

COMPLAINT FOR INTENTIONAL 

INFLICTION OF EMOTIONAL

DISTRESS

 
  

Plaintiffs allege:

1. The true names or capacities, whether individual, corporate, associate or otherwise, of defendants Does 1 through 100, inclusive, are unknown to plaintiffs, who therefore sue those defendants by their fictitious names. Plaintiffs will amend this First Amended Complaint to show the true names and capacities of these defendants when Plaintiffs learn them.

2. Plaintiffs are informed and believe, and thereon allege, that each defendant Doe is responsible in some manner for the occurrences alleged in this complaint, and that plaintiffs’ injuries described in this complaint, were legally caused by their conduct. Plaintiffs are also informed and believe, and thereon allege, that each act forming the basis of the assertions of Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress was committed by the named defendants and or one or more of the Doe defendants, and each of them, and/or was endorsed or ratified by these defendants’ intentional failure to prevent such actions, or failure to discipline, discourage or adversely review such actions, and/or that such actions took place because of the established tortious policies of those defendants, and each of them, as followed by the other defendants.

3. The injuries upon which this action is based occurred in Los Angeles County, California with named defendants residing in this County, and/or whose substantial, continuing and ongoing business contacts with California and Los Angeles County, for the purpose of provision of the health care whose malfeasance is at issue in this lawsuit give this court personal and subject matter jurisdiction over all defendants.

4. At all times herein mentioned, plaintiffs, SEVERO CAUSING, JR., RUTH

GALLENERO, PETE CAUSING, MAY LEYRIT CAUSING, CHRISTINA CAUSING KAYRA CAUSING, MAY CAUSING, IRENE DEANON, LAURIE MICHELLE DEANON, JAN MICHAEL DEANON, HEATHER JOY DEANON, ESTRELLA CAMPOS, BOY CAMPOS, JEANNANE CAMPOS, JEFFREY CAMPOS, LUNA POSA, TONY POSA, MARK POSA, CHRISTIE POSA, CARMEN AVILA, RUBY CAUSING PANUNCIALMAN, were the legal nieces, nephews or siblings of decedent SOTERO CAUSING.

5. At all times mentioned in this complaint, defendants, ARASH KHARESTAN, M.D., GERALD BECKHAM, M.D., HUGH GREATHOUSE, M.D., and DOES 1 through 10, inclusive, and other defendants fictitiously named in this Complaint, were and are physicians or surgeons, licensed by the State of California to practice medicine or surgery in the State of California.

/ / / /

6. At all times mentioned in this complaint, defendants, and DOES 11 through 20, inclusive, and other defendants fictitiously named in this Complaint, were and are occupational therapists or nurses, registered and/or licensed by the State of California to administer physical therapy or practice nursing in the State of California.

7. Plaintiffs are informed and believe, and based thereon allege, that at all times herein mentioned, defendants, KAISER FOUNDATION HEALTH PLAN, INC., KAISER FOUNDATION HOSPITALS AND SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA PERMANENTE MEDICAL GROUP and Does 21 through 50, inclusive, and each of them owned, operated, managed and controlled a General Hospital/Clinic Facility within Los Angeles County, State of California, which they held out to the public at large and to the plaintiffs as being properly equipped, fully accredited, and competently staffed by qualified, able and competent personnel; as operating in compliance with the standard of care maintained in other properly equipped and efficiently operated and administered accredited hospitals/clinics in their communities; and as offering full, competent and efficient hospital and medical, surgical, laboratory, x-ray, anesthesia, paramedical, therapy, and/or rehabilitation services to the general public and to the decedent, SOTERO CAUSING, and that these defendants held themselves out to the general community as operating facilities in which patients who were alive were not declared dead by physicians working at those facilities, when such patients did not meet the legal definition of death.

8. Defendants, KAISER FOUNDATION HEALTH PLAN, INC., KAISER FOUNDATION HOSPITALS AND SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA PERMANENTE MEDICAL GROUP and Does 51 through 60, inclusive, and each of them, at the time the alleged acts or omissions occurred, administered, governed, controlled, managed and directed all the necessary functions, activities and operations in those hospital/clinic facilities, including care rendered by Therapist, Nurses, Interns, Resident House Staff, Physicians and Surgeons, Medical Staff, X-ray personnel, Intensive Care personnel, Recovery Room personnel and Emergency Room Department personnel and including, but not limited to directing and controlling personnel and staff in specialized departments, where Clinical Laboratories, Physical Therapy Facilities, and the technicians necessary to the operation of these hospital/clinical facilities were organized into specialized hospital/clinical departments in regards to the care and treatment of decedent, SOTERO CAUSING.

9. Plaintiffs are informed and believe, and upon such information and belief allege, that defendants, KAISER FOUNDATION HEALTH PLAN, INC., KAISER FOUNDATION HOSPITALS AND SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA PERMANENTE MEDICAL GROUP and Does 51 through 60, inclusive, were authorized to and licensed to conduct, and did conduct a hospital/clinic business or businesses in the State of California to which hospital/clinic or hospitals/clinics they invited members of the public including decedent, SOTERO CAUSING, on representation that adequate, careful and competent health care was offered. The exact form of the business organization under which defendants, KAISER FOUNDATION HEALTH PLAN, INC., KAISER FOUNDATION HOSPITALS AND SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA PERMANENTE MEDICAL GROUP and Does 51 through 60, inclusive, are organized in doing business at present or were organized in doing business at the time the specific acts and omissions occurred which caused the injuries to plaintiffs are unknown to plaintiffs at the time of filing of this Complaint. Plaintiffs will ask leave of Court to amend the Complaint when plaintiffs have ascertained the defendants' form of organization.

FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION

(For Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress as to All Defendants)

10. Plaintiffs repeat, reallege and by this reference incorporate Paragraphs 1 through 9 hereinabove as though set forth in full herein and made a part hereof.

11. The plaintiffs in this lawsuit, and each of them, were all relatives of Sotero Causing

before and during his terminal hospitalization at Kaiser Sunset Hospital in December, 2004. They are Mr. Causing’s nieces, nephews or siblings who were present at the time that one or more of the actions described below in this complaint as being outrageous and as intentionally causing severe emotional distress. These plaintiffs were foreseeably made aware of and/or were present when defendants wrote a DNR (Do not Resuscitate) order on Sotero Causing against the wishes of the family, when defendants moved Sotero Causing out of the ICU at Kaiser against the wishes of the family, when defendants ceased basic monitoring of Sotero Causing against the wishes of the family, when defendants clamped a ventriculostomy tube needed to protect the safety of Sotero Causing, the removal being against the wishes of the family, and finally, when defendants told the family that they were affirmatively going to bring about Sotero Causing’s death by removing essential ventilator support from Sotero Causing, all against the wishes of the family and without the family’s consent.

12. The plaintiffs, and each of them, loved Sotero Causing, cared about his safety and well-

being, and were concerned that he receive the best possible medical care at Kaiser Sunset. Explicit actions by the defendants, as set forth above, among others, which actions amounted to unconsented to withdrawal of essential elements of medical care done with the express desire to have Mr. Causing die because the doctors believed Mr. Causing “was already dead” were known to all defendants to be substantially certain to cause the plaintiffs severe emotional distress, and did so.

13. During Sotero Causing’s hospital stay at Kaiser Sunset hospital beginning on December

13, 2004, Kaiser physicians systematically and negligently disregarded worsening signs and symptoms of progressively increasing intracranial pressure, and failed to treat this treatable problem with appropriate medication and with the implantation of a shunt or ventriculostomy tube.

14. As the result of this failure to treat progressive increases in intraventricular pressure in

Sotero Causing despite clinical evidence of Mr. Causing’s worsening condition, and as the result of a negligent delay of Kaiser personnel in treating a diagnosed 1 inch brain tumor, Sotero Causing’s brainstem herniated through the foramen magnum three days after he was initially hospitalized at Kaiser Sunset, and Sotero Causing sustained severe brain damage, which could have been avoided with competent care. He was then transferred to the Intensive Care Unit at Kaiser Sunset Hospital.

15. Within minutes after the neurosurgeon who had performed the surgery during

which Mr. Causing’s brain had herniated explained to Sotero Causing’s family that Mr. Causing had sustained brain damage, and well before any members of the family, including some of the plaintiffs in this case, had understood and begun to come to terms with Mr. Sotero Causing’s brain damage, and without the family’s believing that Mr. Sotero Causing’s death was inevitable, Kaiser Sunset personnel began pressuring Mr. Causing’s family to sign away the rights to Mr. Causing’s organs.

16. During the four or five days after Mr. Causing was transferred to the Kaiser Sunset ICU,

grossly negligent medical care was given. This lax care, amounting to gross negligence and reckless disregard for the health and safety of Mr. Causing, permitted Mr. Causing’s serum sodium to reach 168, a life threatening level, when attention to basic intravenous fluid replacement could have avoided this complication. This same lax care permitted Mr. Causing’s blood sugar to reach 450, a dangerous level, though he was not diabetic.

17. Any negligence causes of action supported by the acts or omissions set forth in

paragraphs 11-16 are being dealt with in a separate litigation, subject to arbitration, and are not the source of claimed liability in this action, but serve as the factual predicate for the extreme and outrageous intentional acts that followed, on which this lawsuit for Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress is based. Only extreme and outrageous intentional acts, with intent defined as “desire to produce the result or substantial certainty that the result (severe emotional distress) would be produced” or where there was reckless disregard of the clear likelihood that the conduct would cause severe emotional distress are the subject matter of this litigation. The conduct complained of in this lawsuit pertains to the repeated refusal of Kaiser personnel to care for Mr. Causing, their repeated assertions that Mr. Causing was “already dead” when he was not, their killing of Mr. Causing by removing, one or two at a time, basic and routine supportive care from him, with prior cruel notice to the family about their killing intent, each act or omission along the way to the final killing coming over the vehement objections of the family, including the plaintiffs, and without their consent. The plaintiffs in this civil lawsuit do not include Mr. Causing’s wife, children, and one sister who was present and involved directly in observing the misconduct of defendants, whose claims are addressed in a parallel lawsuit which is being handled through mandatory arbitration, and which includes negligence and bystander negligent infliction of emotional distress, within the purview of Thing v. La Chusa. The current plaintiffs are not so bound by the arbitration agreement, and are not eligible for claims of bystander negligent infliction of emotional distress claims, but are eligible for claims of Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, as set forth below.

18. About four or five days after Mr. Causing had been transferred to the ICU, the defendants

in this case, including but not limited to ARASH KHARESTAN, M.D. (“DR. KHARESTAN”) and GERALD BECKHAM, M.D. (“DR. BECKHAM”), and, by agreement, HUGH GREATHOUSE, M.D. (“DR. GREATHOUSE”) and Does 96-100 began pressuring the Causing family to agree to a “do not resuscitate” order for Mr. Causing. When the immediate family, including two nurses, Mr. Causing’s wife and sister, protested that they did not believe that Mr. Causing had received sufficient supportive care for a long enough period of time for Mr. Causing to have had a reasonable opportunity to recover, the defendant physicians or residents were rude and arrogant, informed the family that the doctors and Kaiser, not the family, would decide if any resuscitative efforts would be given if Mr. Causing had a cardiac arrest, and that in their view Mr. Causing “was already brain dead.” This was told to the family at a time when Mr. Causing had an EEG that showed continuing brain activity and still had corneal reflexes, showing some brainstem function, and when Mr. Causing needed the support of a ventilator but no circulatory support. These findings explicitly the preclude the legal finding of “death” according to Health and Safety Code Section 7180.

19. Dr. KHARESTAN and Does 96-100 then wrote a “do not resuscitate” order on Mr.

Causing over the protests of the family, and yelled at them, in front of family and nurses, stating loudly that he and he alone was in charge of the ICU and he, not the family, would make the decisions about resuscitation and about whom he would keep in “his” intensive care unit.

20. Mr. Sotero Causing had never executed any advance order giving permission for this

DNR” order.

21. Mr. Causing’s next of kin, his wife and children, vehemently protested the writing of this

DNR” order but Dr. KHARESTAN, Dr. BECKHAM, Dr. GREATHOUSE and Does 96-100 left the “DNR” order in effect. Mr. Causing’s next of kin told defendant that their religion and their personal beliefs did not permit them to consent to a “DNR” order so soon after the brain injury; and that they would be showing their father, husband, and brother, Mr. Causing, great disrespect by consenting to the abandonment of supportive care so soon after surgery. Dr. KHARESTAN and Does 96-100 replied by yelling at the family that he, not the family would determine if and when and where Mr. Causing would be treated, and whether or not he would be resuscitated if a cardiac arrest occurred.

22. An account of Dr. KHARESTAN’s conduct was foreseeably and predictably relayed to

the plaintiffs in this case, and Dr. KHARESTAN was substantially certain that his conduct would be described to plaintiffs, and that his conduct would cause great emotional distress to the plaintiffs in this lawsuit, who knew Mr. Causing to have been functional, awake, alert, able to converse and walk ten days earlier. Plaintiffs assert that writing a “Do Not Resuscitate” order on a patient who met virtually none of the legal requirements for death, without support from an advanced directive by the patient, against the vehement expressed wishes of the family, and without a court order, not only constituted attempted murder under the law, but was an extreme and outrageous act, which defendant physicians knew was substantially certain to cause severe emotional distress, and which did cause severe emotional distress in the plaintiffs, all loving relatives of Sotero Causing. This “DNR” order was the first of many extreme and outrageous acts which defendants performed, knowing that these acts or omissions were substantially certain to cause severe emotional distress, and which did cause such distress.

23. Dr. KHARESTAN, Dr. BECKHAM and Does 96-100 told Mrs. Causing and Mr.

Causing’s children and sister (immediate family) that he wanted the ICU bed occupied by Mr. Causing for another patient and that he was therefore going to transfer Mr. Causing out of the ICU and to a bed on a ward that had neither the nursing coverage nor the monitoring capacity of the ICU. Once more, the immediate family protested this transfer as an abandonment of Mr. Causing well before the family’s religious or moral beliefs and medical background permitted it. In addition, with Mr. Causing having a non-flat EEG and needing no circulatory support, Mr. Causing was not legally dead, meaning that the decision not to treat with supportive care was not Dr. KHARESTAN’s or Does 96-100's to make, especially where defendants’ decisions violated the family’s rights to determine the care of their next of kin.

24. This transfer from the ICU to a floor bed on a ward where both nursing coverage and

monitoring capability were inferior to that of the ICU and which lessened level of nursing care endangered Sotero Causing, all done over the protests of the family, was a second extreme and outrageous act committed by defendants, which defendants were substantially certain would be described and conveyed to all plaintiffs in this case, and would cause plaintiffs extreme emotional distress, and which did cause plaintiffs extreme emotional distress.

25. After transfer of Mr. Causing from the ICU to a bed on a “less acute” ward, Dr.

KHARESTAN and Does 96-100 ordered cessation of all circulatory support, in the form of IV fluid designed to keep Mr. Causing properly hydrated. They also ordered removal of Mr. Causing’s arterial line, a line which, when attached to the appropriate monitor, gave continuous readouts of Mr. Causing’s blood pressure and pulse rate, and which was also used as a conduit for obtaining arterial blood specimens which were used to measure Mr. Causing’s blood oxygen, enabling physicians to gauge the sufficiency of the ventilator support.

26. These actions, which markedly truncated Kaiser’s ability to give competent supportive

care to Mr. Causing, and which made it difficult for nurses to keep track of his vital signs and his blood oxygen level, were taken over the protests of the family, and this conduct and the protests by the family ignored by the defendants were foreseeably conveyed to the rest of the family, the plaintiffs in this case.

27. These extreme and outrageous actions, removing a patient from much of his basic

supportive care, when he was still legally alive, by brain function and circulatory stability criteria, pursuant to Health and Safety Code Section 7180, and over the protests of the family, was another instance of outrageous action which defendants knew, and were substantially certain would cause plaintiffs severe emotional distress and which did cause severe emotional distress to them.

28. After transfer to the less acute ward, and removal of the arterial line, Dr. KHARESTAN

Dr. BECKHAM, and Dr. GREATHOUSE and Does 96-100 ordered the clamping of Mr. Causing’s ventriculostomy tube. This tube had been placed, albeit three days too late because of Kaiser’s negligence, into Mr. Causing’s brain to decompress the brain by reducing the increased intracranial pressure that had caused Mr. Causing’s admitting signs and symptoms and eventually, absent treatment, the herniation of his brain through the foramen magnum. By clamping this tube, Dr. KHARESTAN and Does 96-100 removed the sole effective treatment of Mr. Causing’s increased intracranial pressure, and made his death from resumed increase in intracranial pressure likely. It was clear to Dr. KHARESTAN and Dr. BECKHAM and Dr. GREATHOUSE and Does 96-100 that stopping treatment of Mr. Causing’s increased intracranial pressure would cause or hasten Sotero Causing’s death. They clamped this tube anyway, knowing the likely consequences and over the protests of the family.

29. This affirmative act, designed to remove one important element of supportive care Dr.

KHARESTAN, Dr. BECKHAM, Dr. GREATHOUSE and Does 96-100 believed to be life-sustaining, was understood by the two nurses in the family, Mr. Causing’s wife and sister, for what it was, and this act was foreseeably described to the plaintiffs. Defendants were substantially certain that this act would cause severe emotional distress in plaintiffs, and this act did cause emotional distress in the plaintiffs.

30. When the family insisted that supportive care be continued, and Dr. KHARESTAN and

Dr. BECKHAM and Does 96-100 insisted that in their view Mr. Causing was “already brain dead” Dr. KHARESTAN and Does 96-100 ordered an EEG on Mr. Causing, the report of which explicitly notes that the purpose of the EEG was to prove brain death. This EEG did not show a flat tracing, indicative of brain death, but instead showed persistent brain wave activity. No later EEG was performed before Dr. KHARESTAN, Dr. BECKHAM and Does 96-100 removed Mr. Causing from his ventilator, against the wishes of the family. At the time Dr. KHARESTAN and Does 96-100 killed Mr. Causing by removing him from ventilator report, the last and only EEG report in the medical record showed brain function, and precluded the diagnosis of brain death pursuant to Health and Safety Code section 7180.

31. The fact that Mr. Causing remained alive after transfer from the ICU, after removal of his

arterial line, after clamping of his ventriculostomy tube, and the fact that his EEG showed brain activity, and that his blood pressure and pulse rate stayed normal without medication or circulatory support all proved frustrating to Dr. KHARESTAN, Dr. BECKHAM, Dr. GREATHOUSE and Does 96-100. Both the presence of brain wave activity by EEG and the stability of Mr. Causing’s circulatory status without support, according to Health and Safety Code Section 7180, explicitly excluded the diagnosis of “death” that Dr. KHARESTAN and Does 96-100 repeatedly tried to apply to Mr. Causing, to the grief and distress of his family.

Health and Safety Code 7180 “Determination of death” provides the following:

(a) An individual who has sustained either (1) irreversible cessation of circulatory and respiratory functions, or (2) irreversible cessation of all functions of the entire brain, including the brain stem, is dead. A determination of death must be made in accordance with accepted medical standards.”

Since the last EEG performed on Mr. Causing showed brain function in form of an EEG that was not flat, and since the discharge of Mr. Causing from the ICU and the discontinuation of any circulatory support did not cause any change in Mr. Causing’s blood pressure or pulse rate, it is clear that until Kaiser physicians terminated Mr. Causing’s ventilator support, Mr. Causing was legally alive.

32. Dr. KHARESTAN and Dr. BECKHAM and Does 96-100 continued to rudely inform the

members of the immediate family, Mr. Causing’s wife, children and sister that the doctors and only the doctors would decide what treatments would be given or withheld, and whether or not supportive care would be terminated. The other members of Mr. Causing’s family, the plaintiffs in this action, were made aware of the position being taken by these defendants, as expressed to the immediate family, namely the opinion that Mr. Causing was regarded by the defendants as being already dead despite his normal blood pressure and pulse rate without circulatory support and his EEG showing brain wave activity, and that any decisions about treatment, resuscitation, or discontinuation of support needed to maintain life were the province of the defendant doctors and Kaiser and that the family had no right to make ultimate decisions about those matters.

33. The information that the immediate family was being disregarded in their attempts to

make sure that Mr. Causing receive competent life support, and that important monitoring and treatment measures were to be withdrawn over the immediate family’s protests and against their will foreseeably and with substantial certainty caused great grief and unhappiness and emotional distress to the plaintiffs. This grief and emotional distress was the foreseeable and intended result of the defendant’s rude and arrogant decisions to stop ICU care, to write a “DNR” order, to cease any circulatory support, to stop monitoring Mr. Causing’s vital signs, to clamp his ventriculostomy tube and eventually to take him off a ventilator. These intentional and outrageous acts, intentional because the defendants had substantial certainty of the distress that would be caused in the plaintiffs by these actions, outrageous in the frank taking of a life by health care practitioners sworn to preserve life and in the profound disrespect shown to the family’s personal, moral and religious views as regards their loved one, and to the family’s desire to show their loved one respect in the face of medical disaster, in fact proximately caused the intended substantial distress in the plaintiffs. The continuing reference to Mr. Causing as being “dead” or “brain dead” when the family, including two nurses, knew that his EEG showed brain activity, and when the defendants and Does 96-100 knew Mr. Causing still had brain wave activity, was further intentional and outrageous action by the defendants and Does 96-100 which defendants with substantial certainty knew would cause great distress to the family of Mr. Causing, including the plaintiffs, and which proximately caused such distress.

/ / / /

34. By December 24, 2004, all named defendants and Does 96-100's attempts to kill Mr.

Causing or have him declared legally dead had failed, and the family was vindicated. Dr. KHARESTAN, Dr. BECKHAM, Dr. GREATHOUSE and Does 96-100 had actively attempted to kill Mr. Causing by the administration of fluids leading to a serum sodium of 168 and blood sugar of over 450. They were frustrated when he persisted in living. They had tried to show that he was legally dead via the finding of a flat EEG, and were frustrated when that examination showed brain wave activity. They attempted to “let him die” by discontinuing ICU care and careful monitoring of Mr. Causing’s blood pressure, pulse rate and blood oxygen level; still he lived. They hoped that his blood pressure would drop when he was not given medications for circulatory support; still he lived. They clamped his ventriculostomy tube, removing Mr. Causing’s main protection against recurrence of the increase in intracranial pressure that had led to his initial brain damage; still he lived.

35. When all these attempts to kill Mr. Causing or to let him die by witholding routine

supportive care of a type given to acutely ill patients as a matter or course daily at Kaiser and at our community hospitals, Dr. KHARESTAN, Dr. BECKHAM and Does 96-100 decided that the only way to make sure Mr. Causing died was to take him off his respirator.

36. Ventilator care is routine hospital care, in an ICU and on less acute hospital wards.

Patients sometimes stay on ventilators for weeks or months as they are given the opportunity to recover. Eight days after Mr. Causing’s brain herniated as the result of Kaiser physicians’ negligent care, Dr. KHARESTAN, Dr. BECKHAM, Dr. GREATHOUSE, and Does 96-100 decided that Mr. Causing was to be taken off his ventilator. The family protested vigorously.

37. In characteristic fashion, Dr. KHARESTAN, Dr. BECKHAM, Dr. GREATHOUSE and

Does 96-100 informed the family, in a public manner, that the decision about taking Mr. Causing off his ventilator was not the family’s to make, that it was Dr. KHARESTAN’s and KAISER’S decision to make. A similar sentiment was voiced by Dr. BECKHAM and Does 90-95, and documented in the medical record of Mr. Causing, to the effect that the family “lacked insight” and did not understand that Mr. Causing was already dead, all at a time when Mr. Causing was not legally dead. No defendant showed any knowledge of the applicable law on point, or sought advice from hospital or corporate counsel. Each was following what they believed to be Kaiser’s policies and procedures on point. Plaintiffs assert that these doctors were following what Kaiser had led them to believe was Kaiser’s policy in dealing with deeply injured patients, and that Kaiser induced, acknowledged and/or endorsed this conduct, by inculcating it and/or by failing to discipline such conduct or declare it improper or in violation of Kaiser policy.

38. Dr. KHARESTAN, Dr. BECKHAM and Does 96-100 then informed the immediate

family, who foreseeably informed the plaintiffs, as defendants knew they would, and suggested that they do, that defendants and Does 96-100 intended to kill Mr. Causing by removing him from his mechanical ventilation at a fixed time later that day. This was conveyed to plaintiffs, who were told to come in and say goodbye to Mr. Causing and to bring any relative who wanted to say goodbye to Mr. Causing to the hospital immediately or risk coming after he had been killed. This extreme and outrageous action was accompanied by a substantial certainty in the defendants, amounting to legal intent, that it would cause great emotional distress in the family, including plaintiffs. This act was actually carried out on the orders of Dr. KHARESTAN, Dr. BECKHAM, Dr. GREATHOUSE and Does 96-100, resulting in a large family, including plaintiffs, being forced to watch as a doctor, over family protests, took Mr. Causing off the ventilator he needed to live, and were forced to watch as Mr. Causing gradually died before their eyes over the next hour and a quarter. This intentional and outrageous act was certain to cause great anguish and distress to plaintiffs; defendants Dr. KHARESTAN, Dr. BECKHAM and Does 96-100 knew that it would and intended it to happen, and this conduct was the proximate cause of great grief.

/ / / /

39. Defendants Dr. KHARESTAN, Dr. BECKHAM, Dr. GREATHOUSE and Does 90-100

in this case knew that there was substantial certainty that their acts, individually and collectively, would cause great distress and grief to the plaintiffs; these acts, outrageous in their brutality, intended to cause the end of a life, intended to treat the family of a brain-injured man as though they were without legal or moral rights, intended to treat the family of a brain-injured man as though the doctors, rather than the family, had the right to decide when life-sustaining treatment would be withheld or discontinued; intended to demean, chastise, disenfranchise and derogate the family, including plaintiffs, and to force them to be a witness to defendants and Does 90-100’s desire to control life and death at Kaiser Hospital beyond any legal and moral right to do so; these acts were outrageous, were intentional, were substantially certain to cause plaintiffs great grief, predictably caused such great grief, and are the predicate for this lawsuit grounded in intentional infliction of emotional distress in those siblings, nieces and nephews of Mr. Causing who were present at some of the acts which caused his death, and in those siblings, nieces and nephews who seek damages for intentional infliction of emotional distress in this lawsuit.

40. The named defendants and Does 96-100, and each of them, engaged in extreme and

outrageous conduct, with the substantial certainty amounting to intent, with reckless disregard for the consequences of their actions, and with frank intent of causing emotional distress in the plaintiffs; the plaintiffs in fact did experience severe emotional distress, and this severe emotional distress was legally and proximately caused by this outrageous conduct of the named defendants and Does 90-100. These named defendants and Does 96-100 declared a live man to be dead to his family, against their protests; withdrew one critical life sustaining treatment after another, against the protests of the family and with great rudeness, arrogance, and public hatefulness toward the family which was trying to preserve their loved one’s life and his and their basic dignity; tried in vain to show that Mr. Causing met the legal criteria of death, their actions being in vain because Mr. Causing was not legally dead, and then killed Mr. Causing by withdrawing ventilatory support, a routine form of treatment given daily to thousands of critically ill patients in Los Angeles.

41. Plaintiffs, and each of them, seek compensatory damages for the emotional distress

needlessly heaped on them by the outrageous conduct of the named defendants and Does 90-100, and will seek punitive damages as well for this intentional tort, from the specific defendants named now or added as Doe defendants, and from the medical entity that employed these defendants, which, through its policies, caused and later ratified and endorsed this tortious conduct.

WHEREFORE, Plaintiffs pray for judgment against Defendants, and each of them, as follows:

1. General damages according to proof;

2. Punitive damages according to proof;

3. Prejudgment interest;

4. Such other and further relief as the court may deem proper.





DATED: May 18, 2006

COHEN & RUDD







By:__________________________________

Arlan A. Cohen, M.D., J.D.

Attorney for Plaintiffs, SEVERO CAUSING, JR.

, RUTH GALLENERO, PETE CAUSING, MAY

LEYRIT CAUSING, CHRISTINA CAUSING

KAYRA CAUSING, MAY CAUSING, IRENE

DEANON, LAURIE MICHELLE DEANON,

JAN MICHAEL DEANON, HEATHER JOY

DEANON, ESTRELLA CAMPOS, BOY

CAMPOS, JEANNANE CAMPOS, JEFFREY

CAMPOS, LUNA POSA, TONY POSA, MARK

POSA, CHRISTIE POSA, CARMEN AVILA

RUBY CAUSING PANUNCIALMAN, AS

PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVES OF THE

ESTATE OF SOTERO CAUSING, DECEDENT







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