In August 2011, our senior solicitor with over 30 years of experience in negligence cases in the highly specialized field of medical negligence, was contacted by a 27 year old woman. The young woman had recently been diagnosed with stage 3 melanoma despite vigilant skin checks due to the malpractice of a skin cancer clinic.
The young woman moved to Australia in 2002. She was fair skinned and underwent regular skin checks to detect skin cancer. On 14 December 2007, she attended a skin cancer clinic with concerns about a lesion in her left forearm. She was told that the lesion was of no real concern. On 12 March 2008, she returned to the skin cancer clinic for her annual skin check. A year later on 23 March 2009, she returned again to the skin cancer clinic for her annual skin check. At this time it was decided that the young woman undergo a shave biopsy of a lesion on her left forehead. The results of the shave biopsy indicated a “3 mm mildly dysplastic compound melanocytic naevus. Mild articular and cellular atypia” with “peripheral and deep margins… involved”. The skin cancer clinic did not recommend that she take any further action. On 17 November 2010 she returned to the skin cancer clinic because the lesion on her left forehead had returned and looked darker than before. At this appointment she was reassured that there was nothing sinister about the lesion. On 24 March 2011 she attended the skin cancer clinic. At this appointment it was decided that the lesion on her forehead was to be excised and she was referred to a cosmetic surgeon. The lesion was excised on 20 June 2011 and she was diagnosed with serious stage 3 melanoma.
We acquired all the young woman’s relevant medical records and clinical notes. We were able to consult leading expert melanoma specialists and establish three complex propositions of malpractice:
- The lesion on the young woman’s forehead should have been treated as melanoma as far back as 2009.
- The young woman should not have been given the “all clear” by the skin cancer clinic instead the lesion should have been excised in 2009 and failing excision she should have been reviewed by the skin cancer clinic every one to three months.
- The delay in treating the young woman had resulted in her chances of survival being seriously affected.
Armed with this intricate medical evidence establishing the skin cancer clinic’s malpractice, we were able to settle the young woman’s medical negligence case for $305,000.00 (inclusive of costs). The client was very pleased with the result, and impressed at the dedication and compassion of the staff at Gerard Malouf & Partners during her pursuit of justice in her medical negligence claim. We are a highly specialised and focused lawyers with out law firm being small enough to care intimately for our clients, but large enough to have the solid financial, medical and expert resources our clients need to match the big insurers we fight everyday in negligence cases.
For free over-the-phone advice or to take advantage of our free face-to-face consultation call our expert team of medical negligence lawyers today on our Free Call Number 1800 004 878.