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

Case Overview
  • A man attended the Emergency Department complaining of chest pain, coughing up phlegm, and bilateral wheezing.
  • This man passed away the following day because the hospital had been negligent in its management and treatment.
  • We were able to negotiate and obtain compensation worth $635,000 for the family.

A man attended the Emergency Department of the 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.


He 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, he 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, he suffered from increasing respiratory failure, and passed away the following day.

“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.”

Our Approach

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.


Mr. Behrens sought expert opinions from an esteemed general surgeon and emergency department expert. He confirmed that the Hospital had indeed been negligent in their management and treatment of the deceased and that if they had acted appropriately, the deceased would have survived. 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.



The Result

We successfully negotiated a settlement claim of $635,000 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

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.

Following an initial meeting, the first task will be to establish the general facts of the case. This will include your medical diagnosis, which will need to be confirmed and documented by a doctor; and proof that the person or company at fault owed you a duty of care, which will need to be demonstrated. Together, this will show that your injury occurred when they breached that duty of care.

From there a further investigation will proceed—contacting and interviewing witnesses, speaking with expert consultants, and more—all in order to bolster the strength of your case even further. Only once this process is complete, and your claim can be demonstrated and proven in full, will the process move on to the next step.


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Gerard Malouf & Partners
 — Personal Injury Compensation Lawyers

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