Elderly Moruya woman injured after fall down stairs at hospital receives $115,000 plus costs

Published 25 Aug 2015

Our client, 88 years of age, was admitted to the hospital for review and staff were clearly alerted to her being legally blind, the onset of dementia, and limited mobility. Hospital staff was aware of the heightened risks for falls and assured our client she would be looked after during the course of her stay.

Shortly after her admission, our client was noted by Hospital staff to be confused and walking around unassisted but yet the staff did nothing more than escort her back to her bed each time. It was in the early hours of the morning around 530am when she got out of her bed and wandered down the Hospital halls, again she was unmonitored. Unfortunately for our client, this time she wasn’t discovered by staff until after, thinking it was her room, she opened an unlocked door, directly across from the nurse’s station, and fell down a flight of stairs suffering a fractured cervical spine, other broken bones and bruising.

Fortunately for our client, her daughter, acting as tutor, came to Gerard Malouf & Partners to pursue a claim for medical negligence against the Hospital on her mother’s behalf. After obtaining relevant clinical notes and medical history, we proceeded to instruct one of our experts to comment on the standard of care that the Hospital should have afforded our client. It wasn’t long before our seasoned expert provided us with a liability report clearly identifying the level of care expected by a Hospital charged with the care of elderly, and sometimes mentally impaired, patients and precisely where the Hospital fell short. The duty of care was such that the Hospital, knowing full well that our client was highly susceptible to falls, should have monitored her much more closely and not allowed her to wonder aimlessly and unassisted.

Not only were Gerard Malouf & Partners able to establish a claim of medical negligence against the hospital on behalf of the mother, but we were also able to establish that the daughter was entitled to a claim for Nervous Shock . As direct result of witnessing the suffering her mother was now experiencing due to the Hospital’s negligence, the daughter deserved to be compensated for the substantial psychological injury and psychological sequelae she was now suffering from.

Less than two years after the avoidable accident, Gerard Malouf & Partners were able to settle the claims for both the mother and daughter. Using the same liability report for the mother’s claim, thus keeping disbursements costs to a bare minimum, the experienced and well-respected legal team at Gerard Malouf & Partners were able to obtain settlements in both claims: $115,000 plus costs for the mother and $65,000 including costs for the daughter.

Gerard Malouf & Partners, and their experienced team of personal injury professional, is large enough to have taken the mother’s case on a No Win No Fee basis. The mother paid nothing up front for the costs of investigating and prosecuting the matter and, ultimately, hold the Hospital accountable for their medical negligence. Gerard Malouf & Partners are also small enough to have worked closely, one-on-one, with the daughter so that we were able recognize she had a very real claim for psychological injury she was entitled to receive compensation for.