Bile-duct leak caused by failed surgery at major Illawarra hospital results in $225,000 compensation settlement

Published 25 Jan 2016

This matter involved a failure to of a surgeon at a major Illawarra hospital to ensure our client’s wounds were appropriately sealed during a laparoscopic cholecystectomy. This resulted in the development of a large hernia at the site of his surgery and ongoing problems with abdominal pain and constipation, ultimately resulting in a $225,000.00 settlement for our client.

Our client was a 52 year old man who presented to hospital in January of 2012.  He was diagnosed with acute cholecystitis (inflammation of the gallbladder) and subsequently underwent a laparoscopic cholecystectomy on 1 February 2012.

Post-operatively, his situation failed to progress as expected and our client represented to the hospital 3 days later for further examinations.  These investigations revealed a collection of fluid in our client’s gallbladder.  Despite this concerning diagnosis and the risk of a cystic bile-duct leak, our client was discharged home.

Two days later out client was rushed to hospital by an ambulance with complaints of abdominal pain, fevers, hot and cold sweats, no bowel motion, abdominal cramping and suspicions of an infection.

He was then diagnosed with a leakage of bile duct which had caused peritonitis.  This was confirmed by CT scans on 7 February 2012.  Our client was rushed in for urgent surgery as he began to suffer from seizures due to his deteriorating condition.

Our client remained in hospital post operatively whilst he recovered.  He was eventually discharged, however, he experienced ongoing injuries and disabilities as a result of his cystic bile duct leak and the failure to diagnose this major health risk.

Feeling aggrieved, but unsure what to do, he approached Gerard Malouf & Partners to consider whether or not the hospital had negligently managed his case.  Leslie Abboud, a senior solicitor with over 30 years of experience in medical negligence, took carriage of the matter and explained to the client that his injuries were compensable.  In order for the client to receive compensation however Mr Abboud first needed to establish that there was negligence by the hospital.  In order to do so, Mr Abboud, along with our highly experienced and specialised medical negligence team, immediately obtained the requisite evidence and medical expert reports and opinions.  After thoroughly reviewing both the evidence and reports, Mr Abboud and his team were able to establish that the hospital had failed to exercise a reasonable standard of care in managing our client’s case starting from his initial surgery and flowing into his misdiagnosis by the hospital.

By aggressively pursuing negotiations to obtain solace for our grossly unfortunate client, Mr Abboud and our specialist Barrister we were able to achieve a settlement of $225,000 for our client.  He was very satisfied with this result and thankful for Gerard Malouf & Partners’ efforts in resolving the matter quickly.  We understand that this settlement will not be able to cure our client’s disabilities but we hope that it does help him to move on with his life and continue to obtain treatment and rehabilitation to make the most of his unfortunate situation.

We are highly specialised and focused lawyers with our firm being small enough to care intimately for our clients but large enough to have the financial, medical 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.