by Atoday News Team

Adventist Health has settled malpractice claims for millions of dollars involving former orthopedic surgeon Vincent Randy Bernabe, The Sentinel has learned.

The information came to light because an estimated 30 cases are still going forward against Bernabe in Kings County Superior Court. Former patients of Bernabe, who was on the medical staff at Hanford Community Medical Center from 2005 to 2010, allege that he botched joint-replacement operations, leaving many people with chronic pain, loss of mobility and other complications. One patient's leg got infected to the point where it had to be amputated, court documents state.

"We've got allegations of negligence," said Benjamin Siminou, an attorney whose firm represents all the patients. "The gist of it is that this thing snowballed." In December 2010, 62 plaintiffs were awarded cash settlements from Adventist Health in dozens of malpractice cases against Bernabe that included Hanford Community Medical Center, Adventist Health California Medical Foundation and Adventist Health System West as co-defendants…

…Lawrence said he isn't allowed to reveal exactly how much money he received from Adventist Health, but indicated it was in the $250,000 range – the limit for non-economic civil damages under state law. In court documents, Wayte also indicated that $250,000 was about how much each plaintiff would get. If 61 plaintiffs each received $250,000, the total award would be $15.25 million. Add the $2.08 million awarded to Barger, and the estimated amount rises to $17.33 million.

Story from Hanford Sentinel (California)
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