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A Man Receives $800K in Compensation After GP Fails to Identify Cancer

Case Overview
  • Our client attended to his GP in relation to two painful pimple-like spots and was advised that it was likely an insect bite.
  • After a second opinion from a different GP, it was discovered he had squamous cell carcinoma, SCC of the nose.
  • Due to medical negligence, our client received the sum of $800,000 as compensation.

In 2018, our client, a man in his late 50s attended upon his GP in relation to two pimple like spots which had been painful for around three days prior. The GP advised our client this was likely an insect bite and prescribed him antibiotics and antiseptic cream. This did not resolve our client’s complaints, and he continued to attend upon the GP on a monthly basis, and the GP continued to prescribe antibiotics to our client despite this not having any effect and despite the spots changing in size and appearance. This GP didn’t even perform a swab on our client’s nose.

In 2019, our client decided to seek a second opinion and attended upon a different GP as he was concerned that the spots were not getting better and were becoming more painful. After undergoing various investigations, the second GP referred our client very urgently to specialist dermatologist who did some investigations and referred our client to an oncologist. It was discovered our client had squamous cell carcinoma, SCC of the nose. Unfortunately, it was also discovered that the cancer had spread from our client’s nose to his lymph nodes.

“In mid-2019 our client underwent a rhinectomy which is the surgical removal of his nose, together with lymph node dissection. He also underwent chemotherapy and radiation.”


Julie Baqleh
Our Approach

Our client decided to contact Gerard Malouf and Partners and spoke to Julie Baqleh, Partner and Accredited Specialist in Personal Injury Law. As an expert medical negligence solicitor, Julie obtained an expert opinion from an expert GP regarding whether the treatment provided to our client was up to standard. Unsurprisingly, our GP expert was of the opinion that the treating GP ought to have done more than simply prescribe our client antibiotics. The GP expert was able to provide an opinion that the GP failed to refer our client onto a specialist for investigations and treatment considering his complaints and presentation. We also obtained an expert opinion from an oncologist who was of the view that our client’s nose was revealing effects of cancer but because the treating GP failed to do anything and caused a delay in the diagnosis, this had such tremendous impact on our client’s recovery and treatment. Had our client been diagnosed and treated earlier, he could have avoided surgical removal of the Plaintiff’s nose and lymph nodes and possibly even the radiation and chemotherapy.

Once we had secured our expert opinions, we were able to file proceedings for medical negligence against the GP in the Supreme Court of NSW. Our office then obtained several reports including experts including a psychiatrist, ENT surgeon, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon, plastic surgeon and treatment cost reports from a prosthetic expert and dentist in order to provide support in respect of damages. These reports all supported the fact this injury did and continued to have a profound impact on our client’s life. He was now unable to work, the chemotherapy and radiation had impacted upon his sense of smell and had caused dryness in his mouth, and our client required a prosthetic nose which required ongoing maintenance and replacement.

Once all parties had obtained their expert evidence in support of the case, the parties were able to engage in settlement discussions. The parties underwent mediation and GMP were able to successfully secure a great outcome for our client. Our client was pleased with the result as it provided him with recognition of the negligence on behalf of his treating GP.

The Result

We were able to file proceedings against the doctor for medical negligence, and we were successful in getting our client $800,000 in damages.

Julie Baqleh

Partner
My idea of success is to offer my clients a sympathetic listening ear and to understand their needs.
Frequently Asked Questions

More Information

Negligence is a failure to exercise the care that another in the same position would prudently exercise. The harm caused by negligence is considered to be due to carelessness, rather than a specific intent or determination to cause harm.

While negligence can include misconduct in a variety of circumstances, malpractice is reserved for professionals who fall grossly short of their obligations — and harm others in the process. As a result, malpractice is often called “professional negligence”. If a licensed professional (such as a doctor, lawyer, or accountant) fails to provide the accepted standard of care and subsequently causes harm to the plaintiff, this form of negligence may be known as malpractice.

Medical malpractice is specifically used in reference to medical workers who have committed acts of negligence.

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Demonstrating that a doctor fell short of their duty of care can be a challenging process. While most doctors try their best to correctly diagnose conditions and provide timely medical treatment, they can’t always be right. In every state, protections are in place to shield practitioners from some litigation. These give practitioners peace of mind on the job and protect hospitals that are doing their best with limited resources. However, these laws also set the bar for receiving compensation incredibly high.

Overall, to win a favorable judgment, you must be able to prove Duty, Breach and Damages.

If you have been injured or an existing condition has got worse following a medical procedure, or even just a visit to the doctor, then you may have been the victim of medical negligence and you may be eligible to make medical negligence claims against the professional who caused your injury.

If you can first show that you have suffered harm, and secondly, that a medical professional failed in their duty of care towards you then you may be entitled to compensation.

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 — Personal Injury Compensation Lawyers

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