Family’s Nervous Shock claim against South Western Sydney Hospital settled for over $200,000 following negligent death of family matriarch

Published 13 Jul 2015

Our client’s in this case were a family who approached Gerard Malouf and Partners enquiring about a potential Nervous Shock claim following the death of a much loved family matriarch due to the negligent care of a South Western Sydney Public Hospital.

In this case, the deceased attended a Sydney hospital following a fracture resulting from a fall. Upon presentation it was decided that the deceased would require surgery. Following surgery she was transferred to another hospital in South Western Sydney for recovery. The Deceased was quite obese and was left for long periods in bed in bed without being moved by medical staff during her recovery. It is well known practice that hospital staff should attempt to ensure high risk patients are moved regularly to ensure bed/pressure sores do not develop. This practice was not followed and the deceased developed bed sores.

These bed sores went unnoticed by hospital staff for some time and proceeded to worsen. Eventually when they were noticed they had become infected and despite being transferred back to the initial hospital where surgery was conducted , the infection was unable to be combatted. The family matriarch passed away amongst her traumatised family who had assumed she was simply being admitted for hospital due to a fracture, and departed without their beloved mother and grandmother.

Feeling disempowered and with the knowledge that if it was not for the negligence of the hospital she was sent to for recovery , their much loved mother/grandmother would have likely recovered from her hip surgery and survived, this grieving family approached Gerard Malouf and Partners where Leslie Abboud, a senior solicitor with over 30 years of legal experience, took carriage of this matter.

Upon carriage of the matter it was immediately recognised that the hospital had not taken into account the deceased’s diabetes and weight in monitoring her during recovery. Mr Abboud, and his specialised medical negligence team, obtained medical expert reports and opinions. Mr Abboud thoroughly reviewed the medical evidence and reports and furthermore briefed an experienced barrister in this matter to deal with the further legal issues. In doing so he was able to establish a presence of negligence by the hospital from a report of an expert nurse as it was shown that the deceased should have been appropriately cared for by the hospital in accordance with published guidelines. By failing to do, the hospital had not only caused her deeply upsetting death, but also serious psychiatric issues for her family.

Equipped with this evidence of negligence, Mr Abboud was instructed by our clients that they sought to negotiate to have this matter resolved in a timely fashion to allow the family to grieve and obtain some closure. With these instructions Mr Abboud entered into negotiations between the parties, including the specialist barrister briefed in this matter and instructed by Mr Abboud. The matter settled at mediation over $200,000.00. This was an outstanding result which resulted in this claim being finalised in less than a year since it was filed with the court. Our clients were very pleased and we hope that this settlement both helps encourage hospitals to ensure their patients are properly cared for and that their wellbeing, even in recovery, is taken seriously, we also hope that this assists our family of clients in obtaining some closure following such a traumatic experience.

We are highly specialised and focussed lawyers with our firm being small enough to care intimately for our clients, but large enough to have the solid, financial, medial and expert resources our clients need to match the big insurers we fight every day.

For free over the phone advice or to take advantage of our free face-to-face consultation call our expert medical negligence team today on our free call number 1800 004 878.