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Family Receives $635,000 in Compensation After Death of Family Member

Case Overview
  • Our client’s family member visited the hospital with complaints of chest pain and a series of other issues. 
  • This gentleman was reviewed as appropriate for surgery, but due to negligence later passed away in ICU.
  • The matters ultimately proceeded to mediation where Gerard Malouf & Partners were able to negotiate and obtain $635,000 in compensation. 

This matter concerned the management of a gentleman who attended on the Emergency Department of the Defendant hospital complaining of chest pain, coughing up phlegm, and bilateral wheezing, in 2018. His heavy use of alcohol over the days preceding his visit to the hospital was noted. A CT scan of the abdomen and pelvis revealed the presence of acute pancreatitis.

This gentleman was reviewed as appropriate for surgery and a diagnosis of mild pancreatitis was made. On the following day, a small amount of concentrated urine was passed, and he complained of pain. No catheter was provided. The next day, this gentleman was severely dehydrated but was not transferred to the Intensive Care Unit. He became hypoxic, tachycardic, normotensive and confused. The abdomen was tended and distended with left pleural effusion, VBG acidosis and high lactate. Severe pancreatitis was contemplated at this point, and he was transferred to the ICU that evening. In spite of intubation, this gentleman suffered from increasing respiratory failure and diagnosis, and he passed away the following day.

“We sought expert opinions from an esteemed general surgeon and an emergency department expert, both of whom confirmed that the hospital had indeed been negligent in their management and treatment of the deceased, and that the deceased would have survived if they had acted appropriately.”


Keegan Behrens
Our Approach

The deceased’s family reached out to Gerard Malouf & Partners seeking answers for what had happened to their father, husband, and son. The matter was managed by Mr. Keegan Behrens, an expert Medical Negligence Solicitor at Gerard Malouf & Partners. Successful claims were run for the deceased’s mother, wife, and three children, who were eligible to claim damages for the nervous shock they had suffered as a result of their family member’s sudden and unexpected death.

Each family member was also referred to a psychiatrist, who produced a report for each detailing the extent of their psychiatric injuries arising from the subject incident. While no sum of money will ever heal the hurt the family has experienced, it is hoped that this compensation will be used to obtain the psychiatric treatment required to deal with this awful event.

The Result

The matters ultimately proceeded to mediation, where Mr. Behrens and our retained barrister were able to negotiate and obtain a significant sum of compensation for the family.

Keegan Behrens Compensation Lawyer No Win No Fee

Keegan Behrens

Senior Associate
It always seems impossible until it’s done.
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.

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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Gerard Malouf & Partners
 — Personal Injury Compensation Lawyers

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