Shelly Gerrans, San Anselmo

Shelly Gerrans was a homemaker, a loving wife, and a caring mother to three young children. When she needed a hysterectomy, she and her husband Larry weren’t worried. They had insurance through Larry’s employer that would cover the procedure. What they didn’t imagine, however, was the possibility that medical negligence would completely derail their lives.

Aspen Adams, Escalon

Aspen Adams was a happy, healthy, energetic baby. But when she was 21 months old, her mother Leah discovered a lump on her belly.

She took Aspen to the doctor the next day, a Monday, and Aspen was quickly sent to the hospital for a CT-scan. By Tuesday morning they knew that Aspen had liver cancer.

Dr. Keith Blair, La Mesa

Dr. Keith Blair was a retired dentist having practiced for over 50 years in San Diego.  He was the President of the San Diego Dental Society and he was the editor of the San Diego Bulletin, the California Dental Association monthly journal, and the magazine for the International College of Dentists.

Charles Senior, Los Angeles

Charles Senior moved to California with a music career in mind.  He started working at Sony as a supervisor in private security with the intention of being discovered.  He was a singer but felt his passion was in writing.  Charles wrote a couple of hit songs, but without representation things did not go as he had hoped.  He took his experience in physical security and opened his own security business.  He and his wife also owned and ran Katherine’s, a Thai restaurant, in Downtown Los Angeles for decades.  Charles was forced to close his business when he became disabled due to medical neglig

Lorraine Cano, Rancho Santa Margarita

Lorraine Cano was living a joyful life as a vibrant senior. She devotedly walked her two little chihuahuas at the park every day. She enjoyed dining at home, and going out for meals with family. A mother of six and married for over 61 years, she had always been involved in her children’s and grandchildren’s lives and was supportive of their diverse interests. She was an encyclopedia of music and lyrics and loved to sing. 

Jose Figueroa Jr., Lynwood

Jose Figueroa Jr. was the youngest of three children. His big sisters adored him. He loved to go with his parents and sisters to the museum, to the park, and especially to the zoo. As a family, they were always out and about making lasting memories with Jose and his sisters. Those wonderful memories took a turn when Jose and his mom received bad news in August 2019. When Jose was 3 ½ years old, his parents noticed that his eyes moved slightly to the left. Jose’s eye movement was faint, but he had no other complications, so his parents were not worried.

Anayeli Alvarez, Bakersfield

Selena Alvarez graduated from high school in 2013.  She was working and had just started attending college when she found out that she was pregnant.  She was studying to work in the medical field and was looking forward to starting her life.  It was her first pregnancy, and she was nervous but happy.  Everything was going well until she started to experience pain early in her pregnancy.  She quit school with the plan to take a break until she had her daughter and then go back.  Nothing went according to plan.

Mike Bradley, Menlo Park

Mike and Carol Bradley were happily married for 46 years. At age 72, Mike was still working full time as a car salesman. He was excellent at his job and popular in the community. An avid reader, he accumulated piles of books at home. He and Carol enjoyed going out dancing together and attending music concerts. He was a good man.

Press Conference: Medical Negligence Survivors Call for Medical Board Reform

KGET NBC TV-17 Bakersfield, CA: Two Years Since Childbirth Tragedy By Alleged Medical Negligence

Doctors Should Not Police Themselves

Misty Parker, Visalia

Misty Parker is a nurse and an educator. Misty led a very active, normal life. She lifted weights and took care of herself because she understands the role fitness plays in maintaining good health.

Misty did her research and put a lot of thought into her decision to have a breast augmentation. She had met with two other people who had the same surgery.

KGET NBC TV-17 Bakersfield, CA: Family’s Fight for Justice Continues for Young Mother and Baby

Richard Johnson, Tracy

Richard Johnson was a natural with computers. At 23, he was a talented software specialist and planned to relocate to Texas to move up in the tech world. He was a social butterfly and had a large circle of friends. His mother, Denise, describes him as an understanding listener and hysterically funny. 

Shilpa Airy, San Francisco

Shilpa Airy was an entrepreneur and research scientist who ran a successful biotech consulting business in San Francisco. She worked with many of the top researchers and physicians around the world. She was a leader in her field and devoted her career to developing medications to treat or cure diseases.

Shawn Washington, Manteca

Shawn Washington was a mentor to his siblings and summer campers, a talented photographer and musician, and an expecting father. He lived with his grandmother to help take care of her and supported his parents financially. A quiet leader, he was beloved within his community. 

KVPR NPR Bakersfield, CA: State Senator Questions Medical Board About Its Handling Of Bakersfield Doctor After Patient Deaths

A Call To Action To Hold Medical Board Accountable For Death Of 23-Year-Old Demi Dominguez

By Elizabeth Christian, BAKERSFIELD NOW

June 20, 2020…

Bakersfield, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX)- A tragic case that happened a year ago claimed the life of 23-year-old Demi Dominguez. Dominguez gave birth to a baby boy and later bled to death. The baby was declared brain dead and he didn't survive either.

Demi Dominguez, Bakersfield

Demi Dominguez was just about to graduate from Cal State Bakersfield with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology.  Her plan was to go to graduate school to continue her studies in psychology and become a counselor. But her life was cut short by preventable medical negligence.

Mother’s Day Reminds Us Why These Moms Deserve Justice

Katy Williams, Salinas

Katy Williams

Katy Williams had just turned nineteen and was about to graduate from high school. She was looking forward to college in the fall and dreamed of becoming English teacher. She loved to write short stories and had an amazing imagination. She had begun asking friends and family to call her “Katherine” instead of her childhood nickname, Katy.  

Jordan Perez, Hesperia

Jordan Perez’s love for softball began at four years old.  She played for Riverside Girls Softball Association where she was a two-time All Star.  She also played travel ball and made the high school softball team.   The softball life was a family affair with her dad, Anthony, as coach of one

Naya Manalo, Arroyo Grande

Jamie Maraviglia’s pregnancy and delivery with her daughter Naya was fairly routine and uneventful. After Naya’s birth, Jamie and her husband Dan were excited to bring their daughter home and enjoy their new family of four. Everything appeared to be fine at first, but Naya did not have a bowel movement within the first 24 hours of birth and was refusing to eat.

Mia Moreno, Fullerton

On February 2, 2014, Bree and Nelson Moreno were thrilled to welcome their baby girl Mia into the world. It had been a good pregnancy followed by a normal C-section, with no red flags at birth. Mia’s Apgar scores (which indicate a newborn’s state of health) were all normal.

Jennifer Ha, San Francisco

Jennifer Ha was a Vietnamese refugee and the matriarch of her thirteen-person household. She had orchestrated her family’s escape from Vietnam. At 38, she ran the family business, two nail salons, and was a pillar of strength for her extended family. They lived in Santa Rosa. 

Joe Allen, Corona

Joe Allen is a U.S. Army veteran who proudly served our country as a Specialist/Combat Engineer in the Kosovo conflict. In civilian terms, Joe blew things up. Honorably discharged after three years of service, he went on to build a successful career in sales.

Funeral Fundraiser for Bakersfield Mother, Victim of Doctor with History of Negligence

CA’s $250,000 Compensation Cap Set in 1975 is Most Regressive in America

20 states plus Washington, DC have no cap on noneconomic damages.

      - These include progressive states such as New York, Washington, and Connecticut as well as conservative states like Alabama, Wyoming, and Kentucky.

California is 1 of just 3 states with a cap as low as $250,000 with no exceptions. $250,000 is the lowest cap in the country. (Montana and Texas are the other two)

In just 2019, 3 states either overturned their caps or adjusted them for inflation.

Don Stegman, Grover Beach

After forty years of marriage, Don and Jill Stegman had it all—two beautiful children, a stable relationship, fulfilling careers. But a blood cancer led Don to a bone marrow transplant in 2007. Recovery over the next several years included frequent bouts of graft-versus-host disease, which was treated with a drug called prednisone. 

Meet Annette Ramirez - The Fairness for Injured Patients Act

Meet Scott & Steven Olsen - The Fairness for Injured Patients Act

​​​​​​​New Medical Board App Falls Short Of the In-Person Disclosure of Physician Misconduct That Patients Deserve, Says Consumer Watchdog

Los Angeles, CA – A new app released by the Medical Board of California today cannot replace a simple in-person disclosure as the best way to notify patients if their doctor has been disciplined for causing patient harm, said Consumer Watchdog.

Consumer Watchdog Calls On Attorney General To Investigate Fresno Hospital Accused Of Covering Up Doctor’s Negligence

Los Angeles, CA – The state must launch an immediate investigation into a Fresno hospital and its executives accused by whistleblowers of covering up years of negligence and substance abuse by a cardiac surgeon who was a significant source of revenue for the hospital, Consumer Watchdog wrote in a letter sent to the Attorney General and President of the state Medical Board yesterday. 

Bill To End Silence About Doctor Sexual Assault and Other Patient Harm Advances

Sacramento, CA – Legislation to lift the veil of secrecy around physician sexual assault and other patient harm today passed its final policy committee, the Assembly Business & Professions Committee, with a 15 – 1 vote. Survivors of physician sexual assault, including Olympic and Michigan State University athletes abused by team doctor Larry Nassar, and public interest advocates including Consumer Watchdog, testified in support of SB 1448, to require physicians to inform their patients when they are on probation for causing egregious patient harm.

Ca. Senate Bucks Medical Lobby & Passes Bill to Lift Veil of Secrecy About Physician Sexual Assault & Other Doctor Misconduct Causing Patient Harm

Sacramento, CA – The California State Senate rejected secrecy about physician sexual assault and other doctor misconduct today when it voted 28-3 to support SB 1448 by Senator Jerry Hill (San Mateo) to require physicians disclose to their patients when they are on probation for causing patient harm.

Patients With Medical Horror Stories Demand the California Medical Board Back Patient Bill of Rights Requiring Transparency, Accountability To Prevent Patient Harm

Los Angeles, CA – Patients who were sexually assaulted by doctors and lost loved ones to doctors’ negligence shared their medical horror stories today and pressed the California Medical Board to adopt a new Patient Bill of Rights and ensure future patients are protected.

The stories told at today’s meeting of the Medical Board illustrate the devastating harm caused to patients by a regulatory system in which doctors’ records of patient harm are hidden and patient complaints go unheeded. The patients and families testifying included:

Sexual Assault Allegations Against Salinas Doctor Go Unaddressed By Hospital and Regulators

Los Angeles, CA – The nonprofit patient advocacy group Consumer Watchdog called on state regulators to immediately suspend the license of a Salinas doctor being prosecuted by the Monterey County District Attorney’s office for sexually assaulting a patient. A separate lawsuit alleges that two eyewitnesses saw Dr. Robert Wlodarczyk assault the patient as she was coming out of anesthesia following a cardiac procedure.

Grieving Parents and Ralph Nader Call Out Gov. Brown

SAN JOSE, CA -- With the state of the state speech tomorrow, the parents of a child killed by a doctor who got off with only a public reprimand and consumer advocate Ralph Nader separately wrote Governor Jerry Brown to ask him to deal with California’s patient safety crisis. 

They both reminded Brown of words he personally spoke to them, in one case condemning the state law on malpractice Brown himself signed 43 years ago and, in the other, offering to stay involved in the family's struggle.

Mia Chavez, Pomona

Alejandra Gonzalez took her six-week old infant, Mia, to medical providers four times in eight days. A mother of three, Alejandra knew when one of her children was not okay. But at each visit and with each call to her doctors, Mia’s symptoms were downplayed and Alejandra was told to take little Mia home.

Alex Smick, Downey

Alex Smick had a wonderful life mapped out for himself.  At 20, he was studying to be a surgical technician.  He was athletic, played guitar, and had a loving and supportive network of friends and family in his suburban L.A. community of Dowey.  He couldn’t wait to graduate and get a job to start saving money for an engagement ring for his long time girlfriend.

Daphne McClendon-Ricks

Around their Fresno neighborhood, Daphne McClendon-Ricks was known to all the kids simply as “Mom.” She was the shoulder to lean on, the unbreakable woman who salved wounds and gave good advice, and the friendly neighbor who helped mow a lawn or gave away vegetables from her bountiful backyard garden.  She was a vigorous 59-year-old except for one health problem: a nagging case of diverticulitis, an ailment of the colon.

Dana Stinson

Dana Stinson

At the peak of her nursing career, Dana Stinson was permanently disabled by a disastrous surgery and the doctor's subsequent attempt to cover up her mistakes. Now, Dana will never care for another patient.

Robert Downey, Rancho Cordova

Robert Downey worked alongside his wife at the elder care business they ran together. He was honorably discharged from the army after serving six years as a sergeant in the United States Army Military Police Corps. An independent and hardworking man, he was dedicated to caring for his family. Soon, everything would change. 

Stephen Schaak

Stephen Schaak

Stephen Schaak, an otherwise healthy 51-year-old merchant marine, husband and father of three sons, went to the emergency room exhibiting clear signs of a pulmonary embolism -- blockage of the pulmonary artery or one of its branches to the lung.  The emergency room doctor suspected as much and ordered a CT scan to confirm.

Shanna Alvarado

Shanna Alvarado

A nagging pain in her abdomen sent Shanna Alvarado to a Kaiser hospital in Southern California in October 2010. An ultrasound showed the origins of that pain: a complex cyst that prompted worries about cancer. A radiologist at Kaiser noted in the hospital’s medical records that Shanna should follow up in six weeks, which is the standard protocol in such medical situations.

Rabbi Aaron Gottesman

He was the one who consoled countless victims of crime and disaster, a fire and police chaplain well known in San Diego.  Even after a long struggle with diabetes meant Rabbi Aaron Gottesman lost his legs to amputation, the unsinkable chaplain would show up at fires, crime scenes, and disasters to console those in grief from his wheelchair.

Mario Guzman, San Jose

On January 5th, 2013 Mario Guzman went running with his wife in the hills near their house. Despite some nasal congestion and weakness for the past few weeks, he ran, thinking exercising might make him feel better. During his run, he twisted his ankle. But even with the pain, he completed his jog.

Diane Stewart

In 2007, Diane Stewart received two knee replacements because of injuries she sustained in a car crash when she was younger. After the operation, she complained of severe abdominal pain, which nurses reported to her doctor. The doctor (who lived just 10 minutes from the hospital) never showed up. When Diane’s condition worsened, she was placed in intensive care. Her son, himself an M.D., spent the night by her side at the hospital.

Dr. Keith Blair, La Mesa

Dr. Keith P. Blair became a victim of medical negligence when he was admitted to the hospital at the age of 86 to diagnose the source of his back pain.  At the time, he had some short-term memory problems, but he was able to follow the news, sports, and his favorite tv shows, as well as take care of all of his physical needs.

Pauline Tavares

Pauline Tavares

Pauline Tavares, 79, was admitted to a hospital with encephalitis and was given medication to control her anxiety.  The next morning, a nurse fed Pauline, but when her doctor came by at noon he said the nurse, “Probably shouldn’t have done that,” because of Pauline’s condition and the medication she had taken.

Elizabeth Nicks

Elizabeth Nicks

Elizabeth Nicks was a 12-year-old cheerleader. One day, during an aerial move, she fell to the ground when her fellow cheerleaders lost their grip.  A spotter was not in the proper position to catch her.

Cali Andrist

Cali Andrist was a 58-year-old woman with mental disability.

In 2012, she woke with terrible stomach pain, and that evening her brother, Eric who was her full-time caregiver, took her to the ER at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, CA. After she revived a CT scan, doctors admitted her with what they thought was a small bowel obstruction.

Doug Shulby

Doug Shulby

He was a father of two with a new RN certification.  But without warning, Doug Shelby found himself in a medical emergency.  Late one night in December 2006, Shelby was rushed to an emergency room not far from his LA County home.  He felt like his “stomach had exploded.”  His abdomen was distended.

Delany Gonzalez

She was born with Treacher Collins syndrome, a rare birth defect that left underdeveloped cheekbones, ears and jaw. But to her parents, Delaney Gonzalez was perfect. She was as precocious as any 16-month-old child.

Zachary Diecker

Zachary Diecker

Doctors expected a smooth delivery of Zachary Diecker.  But a series of medical errors driven by negligence, lack of oversight, and incompetence would end his life before he even left the hospital.

Tom McLennan, Rocklin

In 2009, during his sophomore year of junior college, Tom McLennan fractured his big toe in a kickboxing accident. Usually, big-toe fractures get a cast and a toe plate and properly heal. But Tom’s primary care physician recommended no treatment at all. The average big-toe fracture takes four to eight weeks to return to normal function; Tom was still in pain a year later.  

Nora Bostrom, Redwood City

Nora Bostrom had pulmonary hypertension that required her to use oxygen and take intravenous medications. Despite these challenges, she had a high quality of life. She was a bright, funny, and happy three-year-old, full of promise and optimism. But after a visit to the hospital, she became a victim of several preventable medical errors that lead to her death.

Robyn Frankel

Robyn Frankel

After talking to a neurosurgeon about her history of migraine headaches, Robyn Frankel was told to undergo an invasive cerebral angiogram. This would require the injection of contrast dye into a vein in an attempt to uncover the cause of her headaches.  When the dye was injected, Robyn immediately suffered a stroke and went into a coma.

Janet Garner, Signal Hill

Janet Garner's routine spleen removal surgery was completed without incident.  After recovery, she left the hospital relieved, thinking that her medical woes had been taken care of.  Years later, however, an infection developed which would change Janet’s life forever.

Shawn Rial, Dana Point

Shawn Rial had testicular cancer, the most treatable form of cancer, and a projected 90 percent chance of success through chemotherapy. That’s why his family was horrified when he slipped into a coma only a week after beginning treatment. 

Lehna Brewer

Beth Stover

Beth Stover, 40, was past her due date when she went in for a stress test to determine whether to induce labor.  A technician noticed Beth was having contraction and Beth was sent home and told she should not be surprised if she were to deliver the baby soon.

Kim Goodson

Kim Goodson

Due to a health care change by her employer, Anh Kim Goodson was forced into the Kaiser Permanente system on December 1, 2011. She continued for two and a half years until she was eligible for Medicare at age 65, at which time she switched to a non-Kaiser Medicare doctor.

Sally Hunter, Pasadena

Sally Hunter

Sally Hunter was a homemaker in Pasadena, California, happily married to her loving husband Harold Hunter. But everything changed when Sally's colon cancer was discovered.  A cascade of complications caused by medical negligence led to over a decade of heartache for this elderly couple.

Quin Murphy

Quin Murphy

Quin Murphy, 16, was a soccer fanatic with a family who supported him, coached him, and even went on trips with him to watch his favorite teams. In 2010, all of that ended. Quin and his family fell into a four-month tragedy of medical bumbling that caused Quin intractable pain and ultimately killed him.

Tina Minasian, Roseville

Tina Minasian

For years, California allowed doctors who were arrested for drug and alcohol infractions, including DUIs, to conceal their arrests from patients. Such doctors, even if convicted, entered a “diversion” program that allowed them to keep practicing even if they violated the terms of the five-year program, and even if they failed drug tests during the program. Patients were in the dark.

Jessie Geyer, Antioch

A few days before Halloween, 7-year-old Jessie Geyer began to feel lousy. She had a high fever and severe leg pain. It was bad enough feeling sick, but the second grader worried that she might have to miss out on the Halloween parade at her school, as well as trick-or-treating.

John Enzenauer

John Enzenauer

Just before Christmas two years ago, John Enzenauer, 39, came home from his blue-collar job feeling lousy. He didn't worry much about it: Just a mild case of the flu, he figured. Two days after Christmas, he was dead, leaving this life in the middle of the night while the Christmas wrapping still lay strewn around the tree.

Harry Jordan

Harry Jordan

As told by Harry Jordan:
I was brought into surgery at Long Beach Hospital (where I was a Board Trustee) in late 1982 when x-rays revealed that my right kidney was cancerous. Unfortunately, the surgeons involved removed the wrong kidney. They took out the normal one. I then was transferred to UCLA Medical Center, where the cancerous kidney was removed.

Bill Mitchell

Bill Mitchell, a former San Diego City Council member and deputy mayor, is a sophisticated man who thought he knew how to read people. But he now says ruefully that he was bamboozled by people in the medical profession and their insurers into thinking they had his wellbeing at heart when, in fact, they were concerned with the bottom line. Because he trusted them, he has lost sight in his left eye, and has no way to make those responsible pay.

Ruth MacInnes

Ruth MacInnes

HMO doctors, paid through Medicare, failed to provide medical tests to diagnose and treat heart disease in my mother over a two year period. The HMO physicians failed to respond to cardiogenic shock emergencies.

Kenneth Evan Kennedy

Kenneth Evan Kennedy

Evan Kennedy, his father says, was not a foolhardy man. He knew he had an inherited heart problem, so when he decided to train for a marathon in San Francisco to raise money for leukemia research, he checked with his doctor. She, too, knew he had heart difficulties. But she told him that, since he had not displayed any symptoms, he could go ahead and run.

Kay Marchioni

Kay Marchioni

In July of 2000, Kay Marchioni, a second grade and pre-school teacher in Chicago, beat cancer at the age of 56. She decided to do something nice for herself. She had heard about a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon who had appeared on Fox television, Good Morning America, and in People magazine. She called him and asked if he could "tuck" her upper eyelids.

Elderly Woman the Victim of a Cascade of Medical Errors Dies. Her Daughter Unable to Get Justice

Concesa was an elderly retiree and a grandmother with many grand children.  She was a long time Angelino that lived with her daughter Griselle.  One day Concesa was experiencing breathing difficulties, so Griselle, herself a doctor, took her to the hospital where she worked.  What followed could be described as nothing short of a series of continued failures on the part of the medical staff. 

Damage Cap Keeps Malpractice Victim Out of Court

Pat Filaseta is no stranger to fighting adversity. When she was 13 she had polio and came out of the hospital with a leg brace and a limp. She felt lucky; she knew it could have been much worse. Within a year or two she was able to walk without any brace or orthopedic device, and did so all her adult life.

A decade later Pat was diagnosed with severe hyper-thyroidism and had her thyroid removed. With treatment and medication, she adapted, and led an active life, swimming, working and giving birth to two children. "I was always in excellent health," she says.

California Supreme Court Affirms Medical Board’s Use Of State Prescription Drug Database to Discipline Dangerous Doctors and Prevent Opioid Abuse

Santa Monica, CA – The California Supreme Court today issued a decision affirming the right of the Medical Board of California to use the state prescription drug database to protect patients from incompetent and negligent doctors, and to prevent dangerous and illegal prescribing of opioids and other powerful medications.

La Jolla Physician Michelle Brown’s Medical License Suspended

An accusation filed by the Attorney General of California, on behalf of the Medical Board of California, details how La Jolla Doctor Michelle Brown dealt with substance abuse while still holding a valid medical license to practice in California.

According to the documents, Brown traveled to Thailand twice to enter a substance abuse program, once in 2009 and again in 2014.

The documents also indicate she entered the Betty Ford Center in 2010 and the Promises Treatment Centers program in 2013 and 2015.

U.S. House Narrowly Passes Bill Stripping Rights of Patients Harmed By Medical Negligence

Santa Monica, CA – Consumer Watchdog condemned today’s vote by the U.S. House of Representatives to pass a bill taking away the rights of patients harmed by medical negligence, unsafe drugs, defective medical devices and nursing home abuse. The legislation, HR 1215, would place a $250,000 cap on non-economic damages in medical negligence cases and close the courtroom door to injured patients, for example women who are permanently sterilized due to a doctor’s negligence. The bill narrowly passed, 218-210.

Medical Board Oversight of California Doctors Remains Broken, Consumer Watchdog Will Testify Today at Legislative Hearing into Board's Future

Sacramento, CA – Physician oversight remains broken four years after a legislative review committee considered shutting down the Medical Board of California if it did not improve patient protection, Consumer Watchdog will testify today at the sunset review hearing into the future of the Board.