Kaiser Permanente pays $3.2 million in birthing malpractice case
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Kaiser pays $3.2 million in birthing malpractice case
A now 14-year-old girl wasn't breathing when she was born at the Anaheim hospital.
The Orange County Register

A 14-year-old Lake Forest girl who suffered brain damage during her birth at Kaiser Permanente's Anaheim hospital received a $3.2 million settlement this month.

Ariana Ehtemam wasn't breathing when she was delivered by Caesarean section and now suffers from physical and behavioral problems, according to court documents.

The money from Kaiser has purchased an annuity worth $20 million over her lifetime. She will receive the first payment at 18.

Her parents, Ardie and Ela Ehtemam, declined to comment through their attorney, Frank Barbaro.

The settlement was reached after a binding arbitration decision in favor of the family.

"We were surprised by the verdict but want to extend our sympathy to the family," Kaiser spokesman Jim Anderson said Tuesday.

According to court settlement papers filed Jan. 11, Ela Ehtemam's C-section wasn't performed in a timely matter. The baby had to be resuscitated and spent several weeks in the hospital. Ariana now suffers from hearing loss, poor impulse control and attention deficits.

The money will pay for future medical expenses, ongoing rehabilitation services and any residential supervision she may need.

"She is keeping up with her schooling," Barbaro said. "She has to have a lot of accommodations. She has these wonderful parents who really do protect her and a school district responding to her need."

In California, malpractice judgments are capped at $250,000 for pain and suffering. Additional monetary damages result from loss of wages and need for ongoing care. Some of Orange County's largest medical malpractice judgments have exceeded $15 million.

Late last year, Kaiser paid $1.8 million to the family of a Huntington Beach man who suffered a brain aneurysm after his headache was misdiagnosed.

Contact the writer: 714-796-3686 or cperkes@ocregister.com