Medical professional caught in the middle of hate campaign

Date: Jul 04, 2019

In order to be successful when making a medical negligence claim, you must have strong and ample evidence to suggest the practitioner in question owed you a duty of care, breached that duty of care and was ultimately responsible for your injuries.

If you fail to prove the medical practitioner was negligent, you may be ordered to pay the defendant's costs and the court will likely dismiss your claim.

For one medical professional in the NSW area, despite being cleared of negligent claims, one patient refused to give up. 

Background of the allegations

The patient, who had suffered from chronic pain for 17 years, visited the doctor who suggested that his condition may improve with surgery. In March 2010, the patient underwent an operation which went as planned, according to the Australian Medical Association NSW. The doctor is thought to have told the patient not to fly after the surgery, but ignoring his advice, the man flew to Thailand. When the patient returned to see the doctor in follow up appointments, he complained there was a loss of feeling and he felt numbness in his genital area.

As a result of the patient's complaints, the doctor sent the man for further tests. Neither a urologist or neurologist found any evidence of damage in the man's genitals. 

A doctor's reputation on the line

Despite giving the man the all clear, the patient was not satisfied with the doctor's conclusion. As a result of his dissatisfaction, the man began a campaign of online hate toward the medical professional, claiming he was negligent and breached his duty of care. This included posting defaming videos, verbally assaulting the doctor and creating a website dedicated to slandering the medical professional.

Following the campaign of hate, the doctor filed a defamation suit against the former patient in September 2016. The court concluded that the medical professional was a well-respected surgeon who had done everything by the book when treating the man. The judge ordered the man to pay $480,000 in damages for his defaming actions and did not find the doctor guilty of medical negligence.

As the above case shows, proving medical negligence can be a tricky task. This is why it pays to have sufficient evidence and the support of lawyers on your side. For more information on medical negligence claims, get in touch with the specialist team 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.