A Mother sues successfully the NSW Ambulance Service and Hospital for Death of Her Daughter

Published 28 May 2015

We acted for a mother from the Hunter region who sustained psychological injury including depression following the sudden death of her 23 year old daughter who suffered a cardiac arrest and was not properly treated by NSW ambulance officers and a hospital in the Hunter region.

Our client alleged her daughter was not adequately examined by ambulance officers when they attended upon her at her home following complaints of chest pain. In addition, our client alleged the ambulance officers failed to properly observe her daughter’s pulse and respiratory rate and that there was a delay in transporting her daughter to the nearest hospital. Our client also alleged that the Hospital failed to provide triage in a timely fashion and that there was a delay in attempting to establish an adequate oxygen flow. All these factors unfortunately contributed to the passing of our client’s daughter.

As a result of her young daughter’s sudden death, our client suffered from severe anxiety and depression. She has was diagnosed with Adjustment Disorder and experienced severely decreased levels of energy and interest in her usual hobbies and recreational activities, such as gardening.

Our client instructed our firm to act on her behalf in pursuing a medical negligence claim against the NSW Ambulance Service and the hospital responsible for her daughter’s death which as a result caused her to suffer psychological injury. Our client instructed Gerard Malouf & Partners as we are a specialised medical negligence and personal injury compensation law firm that is both small enough to care,  yet large enough to have solid financial, medical and expert resources to match the defendant hospitals and insurance companies to win her medical negligence injury claim.

Upon taking up carriage of the matter, our medical negligence specialised team started working on investigating the matter. We requested all the relevant clinical records and briefed our medical experts to provide us with an opinion as to whether the Ambulance Service and the hospital were negligent, particularly whether the Ambulance Service and hospital in question breached their duty of care. We obtained medical expert opinion to confirm that proper ambulatory procedures had not been adhered to and we identified that there was a failure by the attending Ambulance Officers to appreciate the seriousness of the matter by performing a proper “primary survey” of clinical signs. We later obtained medical expert reports from various experts to ascertain the extent of our client’s injuries, loss and damages in terms of her Psychological injuries and emotional difficulties.

After we obtained our evidence, we filed legal proceedings in court against the NSW Ambulance Service and the relevant hospital. We claimed damages on behalf of our client for her pain and suffering, past and future medical expenses and past and future care and assistance.

We proceeded to a Mediation with the solicitors for the NSW Ambulance Service and the Hospital where we had settlement discussions and we negotiated the best possible outcome for our client. We were able to reach an early and favourable resolution to our client’s satisfaction.