Care worker did not breach duty of care towards plaintiff

Date: Jul 31, 2019


Medical negligence extends far beyond mistakes on the operating table. Any practitioner or person responsible for someone else’s health can be found medically negligent if they breach their duty of care. For example, as the below case showcases, even care workers can face medical malpractice allegations. But what did the court decide?

Background of the plaintiff

The plaintiff was 68 years of age at the time of proceedings. He lived in a property that had been adapted to accommodate his injuries and disabilities. These health issues included seizures.
The man predominantly used a wheelchair to get around but was able to walk several steps by himself with standby assistance. The plaintiff had been sleeping in a recliner chair as he struggled to get out of bed. However, prior to the incident, the plaintiff reported problems with the chair and was therefore assigned a care worker to assist him into bed for sleeping. The care worker was employed by the defendant.

Background of the accident

On the day of the incident, the plaintiff was being helped into the recliner chair by his care worker. He claimed that during the course of transfer he fell as the recliner was not locked into position and therefore moved from under him. He stated the care worker did not provide support.

As a result of his fall, the plaintiff sought damages for personal injuries he sustained.

What did the defendant claim?

The care worker and the company she was employed with denied any breach of duty care occurred when the plaintiff fell. Instead, the care worker stated that she was in the correct position during the transfer. She claimed the floor was heavily carpeted and therefore the chair could not move. Furthermore, upon transferring, the woman alleged that the man began shaking vigorously all over. The seizure was too much for a woman of her size to handle and despite her professional training, could not control herself. 

What did the court decide?

After hearing both versions of events and assessing an extensive amount of evidence, the court concluded that the care worker did all she could to properly support the plaintiff during the transfer. Therefore, she did not breach her duty of care and was not found guilty of medical negligence. 

If you have questions about a medical malpractice incident or want to know the next steps to take, get in touch with the medical negligence lawyers at Gerard Malouf & Partners today.

Call us now on 1800 004 878 to book a free appointment with one of my compensation experts or email your enquiry.