Client walks away with $130,000 in medical negligence claim against dentist
Published 28 Jul 2014
Our client always had problems with his teeth which were broken and split. He finally raised money to see a dentist to repair his teeth. Our client consulted a dentist in a major Sydney city for a period of around 18 months in an endeavour to repair his dental deficiencies. Repairs were carried out and plastic false teeth were applied. These false teeth eventually fell out and our client suffered severe physical dental problems for a prolonged period of time. Our client had poor teeth and gums as a result of the negligent conduct of the dentist. Our client was required to attend another dentist who carried out restorative work and paid for such work. Our client continued to struggle with eating and lacked self-confidence due to the appearance of his teeth. Further, our client had missed many days off work due to the dental work.
Our client wanted to be compensated for the negligent work of his original dentist. He approached our firm, Gerard Malouf and Partners, as he was aware that our firm specialised in Personal Injury Claims. Further, he was aware that many of our solicitors are accredited specialists in their line of work. Christine Beshay, a senior solicitor who specialises in Medical Negligence Claims. Our client felt he could trust Christine to efficiently and professionally carry out her legal tasks.
As soon as Christine opened up his file, she requested all the clinical notes from his treating doctors and dentists. She also arranged for our client to see expert dentists who would provide her with a medico-legal report. The purpose of this was to allow Christine to determine whether the treatment by the dentist fell short of the standard and whether it was reasonable and necessary. Further, it allowed Christine to determine the true extent of the loss and damage suffered as a result of the negligent dentist’s conduct. Upon obtaining the relevant evidence, Christine began to draft the legal documents. In formulating the Schedule of Damages, Christine ensured that our client would be compensated for not only our client’s pain and suffering and the time he had to take off work, but also for the medical expenses he had incurred and would incur in the future. Christine filed a Statement of Claim and Statement of Particulars within a few weeks of opening the file.
The Defendant submitted in their Defence that the dentist acted in a manner that was widely accepted in Australia by peer professional opinion as competent professional practice. In the alternative, they also submitted that the Plaintiff contributed to his injuries by his own negligence, by failing to undertake adequate oral hygiene, failing to follow dietary advice and ignoring the Defendant’s advice on recommended treatment.
Eventually, the Defendant admitted liability. Both parties agreed that it would be mutually beneficial to settle the matter outside of Court. This meant that our client did not have to spend time, money and energy on lengthy and costly Court processes. An Informal Settlement Conference took place however both parties could not agree on a mutual settlement amount. The Defendant walked away from the Informal Settlement Conference after we rejected their offer for $90,000 inclusive of costs. Eventually, the Defendants put forward an offer in the sum of $130,000 plus costs. We accepted the Offer, and our client was pleased with the result.
We are a highly focused and specialized law firm being small enough to care, yet large enough to have solid financial, medical and expert resources to match the big defendants and insurance firms. Our “no win no fee’’ arrangements and written guarantee to reduce fees in the unlikely event of a poor result is unmatched in the legal industry Australia-wide