$100,000 Compensation for victim of crime following ineffective reconstructive surgery

PUBLISHED 09 May 2016

This matter involved a young woman, currently 21 years of age, who suffered a severe injury whilst she was still a minor as a result of a criminal assault at a party. In this incident she was glassed, suffering  a fracture to her nasal bones, her left cheek and severe lacerations to her eye and nasal bridge. She was treated as an emergency at a local western Sydney hospital and then referred to a major Sydney hospital, the defendant in this matter.

From the 31 January 2013 to the 25 June 2015 this young woman had five surgeries performed. The initial surgery was to repair her injuries from the assault. The following four were to repair her injuries from the initial surgery. The initial surgery had left her with facial disfigurement with the bagging of her left lower eyelid resulting in nerve pain as well as embarrassment, social anxiety and depression.

After exercising almost all of her options, this young woman, suffering, through no fault of her own, contacted our office and a file was opened by Mr Leslie Abboud, a senior solicitor with over 30 years of experience in Medical negligence. In taking carriage in the matter, Mr Abboud explained to this young woman her rights and that her injuries may be compensable if it can be shown, based on strong medical evidence, that there was a failure by the doctors at the major Sydney hospital (plastic surgery department) to appropriately treat and manage her presenting condition.

Mr Abboud and his team obtained all of the relevant clinical notes and briefed an expert plastic and reconstructive surgeon to review what exactly had happened in this case to cause such devastating effects to our client. It was found that at the initial repair surgery cause ablation of the orbital muscle and the lower eyelid which caused sagging in the skin surface of the lower eyelid and disfigurement. This damage was ultimately what the hospital had been trying to correct in all subsequent surgeries, however had failed to realise. The surgical operation of the orbital muscle in the lower eyelid was opined by an expert plastic surgeon to be a breach of the standard of care that otherwise should have been afforded to a patient such as our client given that this procedure was not an emergency procedure and that there was time to carefully plan and assess.

Armed with this evidence Mr Abboud, along with the highly experienced and specialist medical negligence team, we immediately obtained the instructions of our client to commence proceedings against a major Sydney hospital for a failure to fully assess her condition and appropriately manage and operate to ensure a sufficient outcome for her. A barrister was briefed and further reports were obtained to determine and assess the full degree of damage to our client, including a report of an expert psychiatrist to fully assess how such an injury could impact a young woman in her early 20’s.

By aggressively pursuing this matter and understanding that our client was not only a victim of a failed surgery but also a violent assault, Mr Abboud and his specialist medical negligence team as well as an expert barrister sought to organise a mediation to settle this matter for the benefit of our client. Ultimately this matter went to a mediation and settled for approximately $100,000.00. Our client was very satisfied with these results and thankful for the efforts of her solicitor and his firm in taking on her matter and settling it quickly. We hope this settlement assists her in moving on with her life and provides her with some solace notwithstanding the assault that she unfortunately suffered.

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