Local

Deal reached with Kaiser over Turlock woman’s death

Danika, age 7, her dad Ryan and sister, Aubree, age 2, look at a photo taken of wife and mother Nicole with Aubree and Danika before her death. Dias lost his wife Nicole more than 20 months ago after hospital staff allegedly incorrectly diagnosed her condition.
Danika, age 7, her dad Ryan and sister, Aubree, age 2, look at a photo taken of wife and mother Nicole with Aubree and Danika before her death. Dias lost his wife Nicole more than 20 months ago after hospital staff allegedly incorrectly diagnosed her condition.

Plaintiffs have a tentative settlement with Kaiser Permanente over the death of a Turlock woman who was misdiagnosed at Kaiser’s north Modesto hospital, an attorney said.

Ryan Dias charged that the hospital was negligent in the Jan. 19, 2013, death of his 27-year-old wife, Nicole Dias. According to an autopsy, the woman died from sepsis after her condition was repeatedly misdiagnosed as sciatic nerve pain during visits to the hospital’s emergency room that week.

Wesley Pratt, attorney for Ryan Dias, said Kaiser agreed to settle the wrongful-death claim six weeks ago. The terms of the agreement are confidential, he said.

A May 2013 lawsuit filed in Stanislaus Superior Court sought damages on behalf of Ryan Dias, three children, and the father and brother of Nicole Dias. The defendants included Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, Dr. Aliasgar Chinwala and Permanente Medical Group.

A Kaiser spokesman said Thursday that the legal matter is confidential.

The complaint was moved to Kaiser’s private arbitration process because of a dispute-resolution clause in the insurer’s health plans. The parties are scheduled for a case management conference May 11 in Superior Court.

After a November hearing, an arbitrator denied the separate claim of Nicole Dias’ sister, Genna Cousineau of Patterson, who had sought damages for negligent infliction of emotional distress. The arbitrator ruled her case did not meet the narrow legal requirements for awarding damages to a plaintiff who watches a close family member suffer from medical negligence.

Kaiser agreed that Dias probably would be alive if she had been admitted to the hospital and treated with antibiotics. According to the autopsy, an infected abscess in Nicole Dias’ pelvis was not discovered or treated, leading to a fatal blood inflection.

During an emergency room visit Jan. 14, 2013, the shooting pains down her legs were attributed to Dias’ history of lower-back pain. Staff members continued to diagnose her worsening medical condition as sciatica when she returned to the emergency room Jan. 15 and 17.

Bee staff writer Ken Carlson can be reached at kcarlson@modbee.com or (209) 578-2321.

Related stories from Modesto Bee

  Comments