Change location v

Delayed Lumbar Spine Condition diagnosis results in a settlement against a Public Hospital

Case Overview
  • Our client had been experiencing back and leg pain including sciatic pain for around three months.
  • Failures & delay in treatment and surgery resulted in the progressive compression of the left L5 nerve root and increased the likelihood of a permanent foot drop.
  • We settled the medical negligence claim against this public hospital for $350,000.

Our client had been experiencing back and leg pain including sciatic pain for around three months.

He presented to his local public hospital when he experienced an episode of severe pain flare with associated loss of sensation and weakness in the left foot.

The hospital gave our client pain medications, but they failed to conduct the relevant imaging studies for his condition early on. The hospital only performed an X-Ray of the lumbar spine initially and it was not until 5 days later that an MRI scan was performed. The MRI scan confirmed our client had nerve compression, disc protrusion and a rupture.

The delay in obtaining an MRI study given the severity of our client’s symptoms meant that his diagnosis was delayed, and that he could not undergo surgery earlier on. The consequent delay in treatment and surgery resulted in the progressive compression of the left L5 nerve root and increased the likelihood of a permanent foot drop.

The plaintiff was then transferred to another hospital after the MRI scan, where he underwent a microdiscectomy under a neurosurgeon. Despite the microdiscectomy, extensive post-surgical rehabilitation, and hydrotherapy the plaintiff underwent over an extended period, his foot drop and loss of sensation in his left foot persisted.

“A person’s world can be turned upside down because of the negligence of medical practitioners. That’s why our lawyers are committed to fighting to the end to achieve the best possible results for our clients. ”


Julie Baqleh
Our Approach

We qualified an expert orthopaedic surgeon to provide us with a report on liability and causation.

The expert identified there was a delay in referring our client to a major Sydney hospital for surgical treatment and that delay led to our client’s poor outcome, in particular, the left foot drip and the pain condition.

We arranged for our client to be medically examined by a Rehabilitation specialist who confirmed the severity of our client’s condition and that this condition was due to the delay in treatment.

We commenced formal legal proceedings in the District Court of New South Wales and following the Hospital’s evidence, the parties proceeded to mediation.

The Result

We were able to successfully settle our client’s case for $350,000 in damages for general damages, past and future treatment expenses, loss of income and our client’s need for domestic care and assistance.

Julie Baqleh Lawyer

Julie Baqleh

Partner
My idea of success is to offer my clients a sympathetic listening ear and to understand their needs.
Frequently Asked QUEstions

Medical Negligence Claims

If for whatever reason you believe you have been the victim of medical negligence, knowing what constitutes malpractice can help clear up some of the confusion that may have prevented you from making a claim previously.

It is the duty of all medical practitioners to make the care of their patients their primary concern. As well as this, they must be both ethical and trustworthy.

Breaches of this duty of care can range from a failure to acknowledge and warn a patient of the dangers that come with surgery, to the incorrect identification and diagnoses of an illness. All of these constitute negligent care.

Medical negligence is often a complex area of law, and it’s necessary to prove the practitioner or health care provider’s actions went beyond an accident or mistake. In fact, you must show the treatment you received fell below reasonable professional standards.

There are a number of errors that can be considered instances of medical negligence, including a failure to:

  • Warn a patient of surgery dangers.
  • Correctly diagnose an injury or sickness.
    Provide sufficient post-operative care.
  • Refer you to a specialist quickly enough.
  • Carry out medical procedures with adequate care and skill.

All professionals – including medical professionals – have a duty of care toward their customers.

We manage Medical Negligence cases brought against all forms of medical worker when they show neglect in their duty of care, including doctors, nurses, dentists, hospitals, cosmetic surgeons, chiropractors and physiotherapists

Explore

More Case Summaries

© 2021 
Gerard Malouf & Partners
 — Personal Injury Compensation Lawyers

Website Design by MediaSmiths

Your location is currently: