On April 13, 2021, attorneys Benjamin Ikuta and Michelle Hemesath of Hodes Milman Ikuta LLP filed suit on behalf of one patient against Kaiser Foundation Hospitals after Kaiser Physician Michael Simental, M.D. repeatedly prescribed excessive hydrocodone, morphine, and fentanyl. The dangerous cocktail of opioids caused a severe addiction in his patient at Kaiser Permanente Riverside Medical Center. 

Dr. Simental had previously been disciplined in 2016 by the California Medical Board for prescribing pain medication without conducting any evaluation of patients, as well as other wrongdoing in prescribing medication. In February of 2019, Federal authorities arrested Dr. Simental after one of his patients at Kaiser overdosed and died from excessive narcotic medication.    

As Mr. Ikuta explains: “The vast majority of doctors are good, but there are a few bad apples that seriously endanger the public. Dr. Simental was a mentally unstable doctor who was prescribing excessive narcotics to addicted patients without justification. What makes this case especially egregious is that Kaiser was well aware of Dr. Simental’s dangerous propensities for years, yet allowed him unfettered access to patients. Despite a repeated history of overprescribing and even disciplinary action from the California Medical Board, Kaiser did nothing as Dr. Simental continued to harm patients. Kaiser needs to be held accountable for exposing the Riverside community to an unsafe, unhinged doctor.”

Orange County Kaiser Medical Malpractice Attorneys

All medical care providers, including Kaiser Permanente, have a duty to follow and enforce strict standards of care. These standards are intended to protect patients from harm. For instance, doctors should understand how much hydrocodone, morphine, and fentanyl it takes to overdose.

When such standards are disregarded, it can lead to serious injuries and financial losses. These may require the assistance of a medical malpractice lawyer with specific experience handling such cases. If you were injured due to the negligent conduct of a doctor, nurse, or hospital staff at Kaiser, you may need to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. Cases related to the opioid crisis can involve complex legal issues, but a qualified lawyer can ensure you obtain the justice you deserve.

At Hodes Milman Ikuta, we have proven case results as experienced medical malpractice lawyers. Contact us at (949) 640-8222 for legal representation and guidance regarding your case. Our attorneys are on hand to help you get your life back on track. 

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