South Australian Parents Receive $2,600,000 in Compensation for Costs of Raising Disabled Child

PUBLISHED 29 Oct 2019

This case concerned a South Australian family who had been the victim of an exceptionally tragic set of circumstances. The family’s youngest son was born in 2002 after a motor vehicle accident where his father and mother, who was pregnant with him at the time, were seriously injured. Significant injuries to his mother’s chest and abdomen were sustained as a result of the force of the collision.

The collision generated biological stress and a surge in circulating stress hormones, which crossed the placenta to directly affect the child. This in turn caused a disruption to the development of multiple organ systems in the child and the development of a condition known as VATER abnormality. This condition resulted in severe developmental issues and in an ultimately premature birth where the child suffered a severe brain injury. The child was born with extremely severe physical and mental deficits as a result of this.

The family’s case was that the Defendant Hospital had failed to interpret several warning signs on ultrasound scans and had failed to advise the child’s parents of these defects. As a result, the child was born with an extremely low quality of life, with his parents facing enormous costs, both financial and psychological, of raising a severely disabled child.

The family reached out to Gerard Malouf & Partners, seeking some sort of justice for the devastating situation they found themselves in. Our Medical Negligence team is vastly experienced in dealing with complex cases such as this, and the matter was taken on by Mr Keegan Behrens of GMP.

Mr Behrens worked tirelessly for several years on this case, gathering evidence and expert opinions from all over Australia. Not only was he required to understand the complicated medicine involved, but he also had to familiarise himself with South Australian law and procedure. This was just one of many examples of how GMP’s Medical Negligence team goes above and beyond when pursuing maximum justice for our clients.

The family’s case finally settled in 2019 for $2,600,000 which will be paid to the parents for the costs, and ongoing costs, of raising their disabled son, who is currently a young adult. Most importantly, the family will be able to access care from the National Disability Insurance Agency in addition to this, to ensure that their son is looked after well into the future.

Have you gone through a traumatic birth and care for your disabled child? You may be entitled to compensation to help your child get the treatment they deserve and improve their quality of life as much as possible.

Call Gerard Malouf & Partners today to speak to one of our Medical Negligence expert solicitors.

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