Arbitration is a form of alternative dispute resolution, a legal method for the resolution of disputes outside the court system. Instead of going through the courts, parties in a legal dispute refer it to the arbitration process whereby the arbitrator makes the decision that is legally binding to both parties. Rarely can the arbitrator's decision be appealed.
Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, Kaiser Permanente Medical Group, and Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, all which make up the Kaiser organization use Kaiser arbitration to settle medical malpractice cases. Since Kaiser is such a large organization of health services, covering approximately 1 out 4 Californians, many people are impacted when medical malpractice injuries occur. Most Kaiser members do not know they are bound to the terms of their contract which requires them to settle all disputes through Kaiser arbitration. Most members obtain the coverage through their employers and likely do not pay particular attention to the disclaimers regarding arbitration settlement. This means if a person is injured by a Kaiser hospital or physician, they are giving up their rights to sue in court.
The Kaiser arbitration system was originally filled with abuses as some patients who were injured by medical malpractice were treated poorly in the arbitration process. Because of this problem, a system was set up to make sure a neutral arbitrator was chosen to oversee the arbitration process. A semi-independent administrator selects 12 names from a large list of retired judges and attorneys. The defense attorney and plaintiff attorney can cross off 4 names each and rank the remaining 4 names. The arbitrator is then chosen from this list. Each side can then choose either a party arbitrator of a single arbitrator whose decision will be legally binding for everyone involved.
It's important to understand that if you or someone you love has been injured or died as a result of medical malpractice by a Kaiser medical professional or Kaiser facility, you have the legal right to retain a lawyer to obtain compensation for your injuries. Contact Kaiser malpractice lawyer Dr. Bruce Fagel for a free consultation at (800) 541-9376. Dr. Bruce Fagel is a leading medical malpractice attorney and a licensed medical doctor. Prior to becoming an attorney, Dr. Fagel practiced emergency room medicine for over 10 years.
You can also view an informative video about Kaiser malpractice and Kaiser arbitration.
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