Death of a young boy due to hospital’s negligence results in $155,000 compensation for his family

PUBLISHED 17 Jun 2016

We represented the family of a young boy (‘the patient’) who passed away. He had a history of developmental disability among other things. When he became unwell and began having seizures an ambulance was called and he was taken to a Central Coast hospital for treatment.

At the hospital a CT scan was conducted of his brain which was reported as normal. The patient was transferred to a children’s hospital in Sydney the following day under sedation. A copy of the CT scan was provided to the children’s hospital on a CD, however it was unable to be opened due to an incompatibility with the hospital’s computer system.

At the children’s hospital the patient was examined by a Paediatric Neurologist. The Neurologist was unable to view the CT scan image himself and relied on the report from the hospital on the Central Coast which stated the results were normal. The patient’s responses were slow however on examination the Neurologist thought this was a result of the sedation.

That night that patient went into cardio respiratory arrest. An urgent CT scan was ordered which showed that the patient had suffered brain stem herniation. The patient had suffered an ischaemic stroke of the brain stem. As a result he became completely unresponsive.

Upon review by the neurosurgical team it was determined that there was nothing that could be done for his condition. The following evening the patient’s life support was switched off and he passed away.

The patient’s family came to Gerard Malouf and Partners for our help in holding the hospital accountable. We opened files for his parents, grandmother and sister to claim for the nervous shock and psychological damage they suffered as a result of his death.

We obtained reports from expert neurologists who criticised the Central Coast hospital’s treatment of the patient. As a result of the failure to correctly diagnose the deceased he was not provided appropriate palliative treatment and his suffering was witnessed by his family. They were not provided with appropriate counselling and support in relation to his death and this was the cause of their psychological damage. Based on these reports we commenced proceedings in the District Court.

We had all the family members examined by one of our expert psychiatrists. He provided us with reports detailing the significant mental harm they had experienced as a result of their tragic loss.

After serving these reports on the hospital the parties agreed to engage in mediation to resolve the matter prior to proceeding to a hearing. At mediation we were able to successfully negotiate a settlement of $55,000 for each of the deceased’s parents, $35,000 for his grandmother and $20,000 for his infant sister. This resulted in a $155,000 settlement in total for the family.

In Medical Negligence cases resulting in death family members are often left with nervous shock and psychological trauma after witnessing their loved one’s suffering. If you have suffered as a result of the negligence of a doctor or hospital our compassionate expert Medical Negligence solicitors are ready to assist you. Call today for a free consultation to discuss your matter.

Call us now on 1800 004 878 to book a free appointment with one of my compensation experts or email your enquiry.