Consumer Watchdog Campaign: Doctors That Harm The Real Stories Insurance Companies Against Prop 46 Don’t Want You To Know: Dr. Jan Adams

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BEVERLY HILLS, CA: As reported earlier this week by the Orange County Register, last Friday, October 10, 2014, the Medical Board revoked the license of Dr. Jan Adams, a doctor whose troubled practice was littered with incidents — but he only made news when he operated on Donda West, the mother of celebrity Kanye West, the day before she died.

In 1994, just two years after becoming a doctor, Dr. Adams was arrested for drunk driving. In 2003, Dr. Adams was convicted after driving under the influence after crashing into a parked car. He was placed on criminal probation for three years but public records don't show any action taken by the Medical Board. In 2006, Dr. Adams was pulled over after speeding on the freeway. He was arrested after breath analyzer tests found that his blood alcohol level was .10%. He was convicted and placed on criminal probation for five years, but again public records don't show any action taken by the Medical Board.

While on criminal probation from the 2006 DUI, Dr. Adams operated on Donda West and she died the following day. A subsequent investigation found that she may have died of a heart attack "as a result of surgery or anesthesia." Another surgeon told the Los Angeles Times that Ms. West had approached him about having the elective surgery, but that he did not perform the procedure because of an preexisting condition that might result in a heart attack. At the time of the surgery, Dr. Adams had had two major malpractice judgments totaling nearly $500,000, as well as multiple other malpractice lawsuits.

After Donda West's death and Dr. Adams' 2006 DUI conviction, the Medical Board began an investigation. During the investigation, Dr. Adams was again arrested for DUI and sentenced to a year in jail. Dr. Adams also surrendered his medical license.

The Medical Board allowed reinstatement of Dr. Adams' license, with probation, but required him to undergo random drug and alcohol testing and take an ethics course primarily because of the continued use of his medical title even after he had surrendered his license.

In 2013, the Medical Board suspended Dr. Adams' license again when it found that he had failed to cooperate with the drug-testing program by skipping five required tests, failing to enroll in an ethics course, and failing to fulfill his community service requirements. Dr. Adams complained that he couldn't afford medical malpractice insurance, but his probation officer testified that other physicians had found volunteer positions at free clinics without the necessity of malpractice insurance.

Contesting the revocation of his medical license, Dr. Adams demanded that a judge impose a variety of sanctions against individuals who he claimed had harmed him, including job termination, a public reprimand, a lifelong ban from public service employment, criminal prosecution, and criminal sanctions including incarceration.


Proposition 46, the Troy and Alana Pack Patient Safety Act, will enact the first law in the nation to require random drug and alcohol tests of physicians in hospitals, modeled after the Federal Aviation Administration testing program that has successfully reduced substance abuse by pilots. Doctors found to impaired on the job will have their license suspended. If Prop 46 had been in effect, Dr. Adams' addiction would have been detected, possibly preventing patient injuries in the process.

Hall of Shame: Insurance Companies Backing No on 46

Cooperative of American Physicians


The Doctors Company


NorCal Mutual Insurance Company


Kaiser Foundation Health Plan


Medical Insurance Exchange of California


The Dentists Insurance Company


The Mutual Risk Retention Group


All Insurers: 






Insurance companies have spent nearly $43 million to oppose Prop 46 in order to shield dangerous doctors like Dr. Adams from punishment, at the expense of patient safety, in order to protect their already substantial profits. In total, the opposition to Prop 46 has over $56 million in their warchest, outspending consumer and patient safety advocates who support Prop 46 nearly 10:1.

Learn more about Proposition 46 and the campaign for patient safety at:

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Paid for by Yes on Prop. 46, Your Neighbors for Patient Safety, a Coalition of Consumer Attorneys and Patient Safety Advocates – major funding by Consumer Attorneys of California Issues and Initiative Defense Political Action Committees and Kabateck, Brown, Kellner, LLP.

Consumer Watchdog
Consumer Watchdog
Providing an effective voice for American consumers in an era when special interests dominate public discourse, government and politics. Non-partisan.

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