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Man with Dementia Passes Away Under Care of Aged Care Facility

Case Overview
  • Man with worsening dementia was put under care in the biggest private aged care organisations.
  • The Nursing Home failed to properly assess and monitor resident as a result he suffered harrowing injuries and passed away.
  • Our skilled and experienced lawyers at Gerard Malouf & Partners were able to able to secure a settlement of $140,000 as compensation to his wife.

As a result of our client’s husband worsening dementia and increased needs, our client had to make the difficult decision to have her husband placed into care in a Nursing Home. After conducting assessments of available facilities, and on the basis of information provided our client had elected to have her husband placed in a facility owned by one of the biggest private aged care organisations.

Despite the representations made to our client, the facility failed in their care of our client’s husband. Firstly, he was found wandering a main road during a very busy time, next he was found by family members stuck under a gate and finally, he suffered harrowing injuries as a result of, what the family was told, a table falling on him.

At the time that our client’s husband was taken to the local hospital, the family was advised that due to a severe infection, it was unlikely that her husband would survive. He eventually succumbed to his injury’s days later.

“On review, our expert noted that there was a number of issues apparent from the records provided, namely, that there was a lack of supervision, poor wound care, poor record keeping and a failure to properly assess our client’s husband.”


SUSAN NEWMAN
Our Approach

After receiving instructions to investigate a claim on our client’s behalf. We first sought a copy of her client’s treatment records from the nursing home. With much resistance and the threat of preliminary discovery proceedings in Court, documentation was finally provided to us. We arranged for these records to be reviewed by an expert in nursing home care. We obtained evidence establishing that as a result of our client’s husband’s treatment and subsequent death, she sustained a psychological injury.

We commenced proceedings in Court against the Aged Care Facility. Despite never having served any expert evidence supporting their defence, and a scathing finding from the Aged Care Commission, the Aged Care Facility denied liability. At one point even denying that the duty of care owed to our client’s husband, was also owed to her.

Further, evidence that the Aged Care Facility obtained in relation to our client’s ongoing injuries, supported our contention that our client had indeed suffered a psychological injury. Despite this, the Aged Care Facility had refused to consider a reasonable resolution of our client’s claim. As such, our client faced the overwhelming pressure of attending and given evidence a trial. While a settlement of her claim will never bring back her husband, our client felt vindicated in her action against the Aged Care Facility.

The Result

However, the Court directed the parties to participate in a Mediation. While the Mediation did not achieve a result, we were subsequently able to secure a negotiated settlement of $140,000.

Susan Newman Lawyer

Susan Newman

Senior Associate
Have enough courage to start and enough heart to finish. – Jessica N. S. Yourko
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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 — Personal Injury Compensation Lawyers

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