Medical Negligence Claim Involving Burns Caused By Plaster Of Paris Casting Settles

PUBLISHED 09 Oct 2014

We recently settled a medical negligence case were our client suffered severe burns as a consequence of the incorrect application of plaster of paris to a broken leg.

On 26 June 2013, our client sustained an injury to his right leg playing soccer. He was transported by ambulance to hospital, where x-rays were performed which revealed a fractured leg.

Our client underwent closed reduction of his right leg in the Emergency Department. Following this operation, the hospital applied a thick plaster of paris back slab to his right leg. During the application of the slab, our client complained of severe burning pain in his heel as a result of the heat produced by the setting slab. The hospital continued to apply the slab despite our client’s complaints of pain.

The following day, the hospital noted a large blister on the inner aspect of the client’s right heel. Our client continued to complain of pain in his heel. On 1 July 2014 the blister painfully burst, and our client was discharged from hospital that afternoon after the application of dressing to the blister wound. Our client developed an ulcer in the area where the blister had burst. 

On 6 August 2013 our client’s ulcer had gotten worse and because of his ongoing pain symptoms he had to have surgical debridement of the heel ulcer.

Our client suffered ongoing pain and functional disabilities in his right foot. Since the injury, our client had been unable to wear normal shoes as they irritate his heel and because of this he was unable to return to his pre-injury duties as printer due to the requirement of wearing steel capped boots. Also, the ongoing effects of the blister delayed physiotherapy treatment that he needed for his broken leg which prolonged the treatment required arising from the fracture and our client suffered wasting of all the muscle groups in his right leg.

Unable to work for over three months and unable to return to work as a printer, he turned to Gerard Malouf & Partners.

Aristea Friedrich took carriage of the matter. Ms Friedrich, and the experienced medical negligence team, set to work obtaining our client’s medical records and conducting research and analysis. Ms Friedrich then briefed a specialist Barrister and obtained liability reports as well as expert medical reports and opinions in order to fully understand our client’s injuries and to establish negligence on the part of the hospital.

Working with the team at Gerard Malouf and Partners and a specialist Barrister, Ms Friedrich was able to progress this matter to the point where a mediation became possible. This was essential to ensure costs were kept low in this matter and to ensure our client had a timely resolution.

This matter was settled at mediation for an outstanding result that our client was very pleased with. We hope that this settlement reminds hospitals that negligent acts significantly alter the course of people’s lives, and encourages them to ensure incidents like this do not occur. We also hope that this settlement allows for our client to continue to obtain medical treatment and assist him to move forward with his life.

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