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Madden v. Kaiser Foundation Hospitals

552 P.2d 1178 (1976)

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Madden v. Kaiser Foundation Hospitals

California Supreme Court

552 P.2d 1178 (1976)

Facts

Terry Madden (plaintiff) was a state employee. The state had a board that negotiated healthcare plans for the state’s employees. Madden enrolled in the board’s Kaiser Foundation Health Plan (Kaiser) (defendant), which did not have an arbitration provision. A few years later, Kaiser sent all plan participants notice that an arbitration provision was going to be added requiring all claims about the plan to go to private arbitration instead of being filed with a court of law. After negotiations between the board and Kaiser, the expected arbitration provision was added to the plan. Madden claimed she never received the notice or had any knowledge that an arbitration provision was added to the plan. However, if Madden had looked at her plan, she would have noticed that the board had provided alternative healthcare-plan options that did not include arbitration provisions. Madden then had a hysterectomy at Kaiser. During the surgery, Madden’s bladder was cut, and she required blood transfusions. Madden was infected with hepatitis from a transfusion. Madden sued Kaiser and the blood bank (defendant) for medical malpractice. Kaiser moved to compel the claim to private arbitration, but Madden argued that she had never personally agreed to arbitrate anything. The trial court denied the motion, and Kaiser appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Tobriner, J.)

Dissent (Mosk, J.)

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