Doctor negligently conducts surgery on patients elbow

Published 13 Nov 2014

Our client consulted a doctor (‘the Defendant’) regarding a pain she was having in her elbow. It was an electric shock type pain in her arm which prevented her from leaning on her left elbow. Previously, she had a dorsal problem in her left wrist, which was unrelated to the current pain she was suffering.

The Defendant, while conducting surgery to our client’s left elbow, transacted the ulnar nerve. The Defendant subsequently repaired the ulnar nerve. Thereafter, our client had to undergo three other surgeries to repair the damage. As a result of the incident, our client suffered from continuous pain in her left arm and left fingers. She was unable to lift any items with her left hand and she was unable to form a fist with her left hand. As such, our client was unable to continue with her everyday activities and relied heavily on her family to help out with domestic duties.

Our client wanted compensation for the loss and damage that she had suffered. She wanted a firm that had extensive experience in medical negligence claims, so she approached Gerard Malouf & Partners. Her instructing solicitor was Christine Beshay, one of our senior solicitors who specialises in medical negligence claims.

Christine requested the relevant documents that would help substantiate our client’s claim. This included medical reports of various psychiatrists, hand surgeons and occupational therapists and clinical notes. Upon receipt of the relevant evidence, Christine started to formulate our client’s legal argument.

The basis of our medical negligence claim was that the Defendant failed to take adequate care in eliciting symptoms and signs from our client prior to diagnosing a condition that required surgery. The Defendant failed to advise our client to undergo a period of 6 months of conservative treatment prior to any surgery. Further, the Defendant was negligent in inappropriately transecting the ulnar nerve.

Due to the strength of our legal arguments, the Defendant admitted that he breached his duty of care. The Defendant agreed to attend mediation so that both parties could agree on the amount of damages to be awarded to our client. The Defendants initially offered $250,000.00 however the matter eventually settled for $520,000.00. Our client was pleased with the result and happy she had been supported by highly experienced medical negligence lawyers Gerard Malouf & Partners.