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Newcastle Man Settles Medical Negligence Case for Over $500,000

Case Overview
  • Our client suffered from a long history of oral cancer. Unfortunately, during a surgical procedure, the surgeon failed to locate the left facial artery.
  • Our client was consequently left with a hole in the roof of his mouth.
  • GMP helped the man to get compensation of over $500,000.

Our client suffered from a long history of oral cancer. At the time of the subject negligence, our client suffered from invasive squamous cell carcinoma of the left oropharynx. It was recommended that our client undergo an elective tracheostomy, left selective neck dissection, left maxillectomy and right radial forearm free flap procedure, followed by radiotherapy.

Unfortunately, during the surgical procedure, the surgeon failed to locate the left facial artery. The surgeons then negligently abandoned the radial forearm free flap procedure, which had dire consequences for our client. The surgeons instead replaced the right radial forearm free flap with a temporalis muscle rotation flap.

“To make matters worse for our client, the temporalis muscle rotation flap failed and had to be removed. Our client was consequently left with a hole in the roof of his mouth.”

Keegan Behrens
Our Approach

As a result of these surgical complications and the failure to adequately excise the tumour, our client has since been left with severe ongoing trismus (known as ‘lockjaw’), oroantral fistula, loss of function of the left temporomandibular joint and left facial disfigurement. Our client also suffers from further breakdown of intraoral tissue and osteoradionecrosis. Unfortunately, our client is also at a high risk of developing new oral tumours and suffering from recurrence of the tumour at the site of the previously treated tumour. 

The Defendants were liable for negligence in that they failed to arrange for multidisciplinary assessment of our client prior to the performance of any surgical treatment. Our client was not reviewed, treated, assessed, or managed by a Head and Neck surgeon or an Ears, Nose and Throat surgeon prior to undergoing the subject procedure. The Defendants also failed to exercise due care and skill in the treatment of our client’s symptoms, signs, and clinical condition

GMP’s highly experienced medical negligence solicitor, Mr Keegan Behrens, had carriage over this matter. Keegan and his team worked tirelessly on this case. The force of the firm’s resources and personnel were deployed as clinical records were obtained and analysed, and medical specialists at the top of their field were briefed to ensure that justice was done for our client.

Our firm is recognised as an Australian leader in its areas of law with offices throughout the east coast of Australia specialising in Sydney, regional New South Wales, South East Queensland and Victoria.

Have you been a victim of medical negligence? Call Gerard Malouf & Partners today on 1800 004 878 and see how one of our expert medical negligence solicitors can help you get the compensation you are entitled to.

The Result

The claim was approved in full in less
 than two months after lodgement for 
over $274, 000.

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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 — Personal Injury Compensation Lawyers

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