Large Compensation Payment After Women Dies in Western NSW Hospital due to Mistake & Misdiagnosis

Published 09 Jul 2018

Losing a loved one is hard enough, but losing a loved one in circumstances of medical negligence adds further insult and injury in an already difficult situation. Gerard Malouf and Partners recently achieved success in several matters where medical mistake and misdiagnosis led to the tragic death of a family member.

Our clients’ family member was a rural woman with a high pain threshold who, even in her later years, was strong and active and rarely complained. So when she agreed to go to hospital for a check up for general symptoms of pain and discomfort her family knew something was wrong.

The rural hospital staff did their best to examine and assess the woman, however they failed to appreciate that anything was wrong or that there was a risk of any underlying condition or illness progressing to something more severe. The woman was not admitted to hospital and was given no treatment. The family felt reassured, and trusted that the problem would pass. However, within hours her condition had worsened, and she called an ambulance later in the day. Before reaching hospital her condition had further deteriorated, and she passed away soon after.

What had in fact appeared to the hospital as general symptoms of no great importance were the very early warning signs of a heart attack. In hindsight the mistake was clear.

However mistake is only one part of a successful negligence claim, and we needed to prove on our clients’ behalf that it was the negligent mistake that had led to their family member’s death, rather than the death being part of the inevitable course of suffering a severe heart attack. We obtained reports from top expert specialists in their field to prove how treatment that would have been available if the condition were identified earlier would have saved the family members life.

Our forensic approach to the matter did not stop at assembling a strong and persuasive technical case. During negotiations we realised that our clients wanted the opportunity to be heard directly. They wanted to express the fear they had felt at going back for treatment at the only hospital near them in western New South Wales which was also the same one at which their family member had died, and their heartfelt wish that a similar mistake never happen again and affect the lives of others.  We therefore encouraged our clients to take an active role in the negotiations and to speak directly to the insurer and its representatives.

The six figure settlement sums that each achieved cannot replace a loved one, nor is it a guarantee that the necessary policy and other changes that occurred at the New South Wales hospital will prevent future mistakes or medical negligence, but there is no doubt that the experience was well worthwhile for our clients on many levels.

As a firm that has a large team that practices exclusively in medical negligence and personal injury cases, we appreciated the benefits, in addition to monetary compensation, that a successful claim brings.

If you, a family member or friend has been the victim of a medical mistake or negligence and a permanent injury or death has resulted, bringing a claim though Gerard Malouf and Partners is likely to bring you answers that you would never otherwise have received, compensation that you deserve, and a sense of closure.

At Gerard Malouf and Partners Compensation Lawyers we have assisted thousands of injured people in your position. So feel free to contact Gerard Malouf and Partners Compensation Lawyers for a no obligation discussion of your circumstances by calling 1800 004 878 or complete our email enquiry form on the website.