Alameda County Receives $7 Million From Kaiser Settlement
Oakland, CA September 11, 2023 – Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Y. Price announced a historic agreement with Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan (together, “Kaiser”), resolving accusations that Kaiser improperly disposed of hazardous, medical, and universal wastes and patients’ private health information.
The agreement between Kaiser, the Alameda County District Attorney’s office, the California Attorney General’s office and five other county district attorneys will resolve the lawsuit brought against Kaiser, alleging violations of California’s Unfair Business Practices law and various consumer protections laws under the California Health & Safety Code, Civil Code, Code of Regulations, as well as the HIPPA law and related regulations.
The total value of the Stipulated Judgment is $49 million dollars, and includes statewide civil penalties totaling $37.5 million, costs of $4.8 million and credits for Supplemental Environmental Projects totaling $4.9 million. This is believed to be the largest judgment for illegal dumping of hazardous waste in California history.
Alameda County will receive $7.504 million in civil penalties, the largest share of the penalties and attorneys’ fees, equal only to that awarded to the California Attorney General’s office. Dating back to 2015, the Alameda County DA’s Office attorneys and investigators were central to the investigation and through those efforts helped achieve Kaiser’s ultimate compliance with the law and the Stipulated Judgment. The final settlement negotiations on behalf of Alameda County were conducted by the head of Alameda County’s Consumer Justice Bureau, Senior Assistant District Attorney Simona Farrise Best and Deputy District Attorney Carlos Guzman.
“This historic settlement marks a significant milestone in our ongoing efforts to protect our environment and uphold the law. We are committed to ensuring that such violations do not occur again, and the funds allocated to our county will further strengthen our efforts” said Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price.
The funds are to be used to enforce and advance environmental protections within Alameda County. The Supplemental Environmental Projects funding, totaling $4.9 million, will assist in broader enforcement of environmental laws and protections throughout California.
Alameda County has been central to Kaiser’s operations since the 1940s. Both founded in Alameda County, Kaiser Foundation Hospitals (1948) and Kaiser Foundation Health Plan (1955) remain headquartered in Oakland, California to this day.
Crucially, today’s Stipulated Judgment also includes permanent injunctive provisions obligating Kaiser Permanente to continue to follow California laws regulating hazardous, medical and universal wastes and protecting patients’ private medical information.
“This settlement serves not only as a testament to the dedication of our office but to the collaborative efforts of our office, the California Department of Justice and our fellow District Attorneys,” added District Attorney Price. “It also highlights Kaiser’s commitment to improving its practices across its California facilities. The company has invested significantly in state-of-the-art procedures that exceed minimum compliance standards. We will be monitoring their compliance to protect the residents of Alameda County.”
Contact: Public Information Officer Patti Lee, firstname.lastname@example.org // 628-249-1288
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