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Brannan v. Northwest Permanente, P.C.

United States District Court of Western District of Washington
2006 WL 2794881


Facts

Mrs. Brannan’s primary care physician, Dr. Mike G. Lin, failed to order an evaluation of her cardiovascular condition and possible heart pathology. Brannan claims that health maintenance organizations (HMOs), like the one employing Lin, often provide financial incentives to physicians to discourage them from making referrals and ordering diagnostic tests. During Lin’s deposition, Brannan attempted to determine whether his employment contract with his HMO employer contained such an incentive provision. Lin testified that he did not know how his bonus was determined. Brannan (plaintiff) filed a motion to compel Lin’s HMO employer, Kaiser Permanente, P.C. (defendant) to provide Lin’s employment contract as well as any other documents relating to bonuses and how such bonuses were calculated. Kaiser Permanente, P.C. argued that it was irrelevant to examine the motives of Lin in a medical malpractice claim where the sole issue is whether he breached a medical standard of care resulting in injury to Brannan.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Burgess, J.)

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