Western Sydney Family of Four settled claim against major Sydney Hospital for $350,000 following death of father

PUBLISHED 21 Mar 2017

In this tragic case a family of four brought proceedings against a major Sydney hospital following a fall while in its care resulted in a brain haemorrhage leading to his death.

In September of 2014 this family patriarch presented to a major Sydney Hospital suffering from neurological disturbances. He was admitted into hospital and it was noted that his ongoing neurological issues made it difficult for him to mobilise. This therefore meant that he was a falls risk.

After two days in hospital, whilst unassisted, this man reached for a urine sample jar he was required to use. In doing so, unassisted and with his neurological disabilities, he suffered a severe fall onto his head.

Following this fall, it was noticed that this man’s ability to mobilse had deteriorated markedly. Follow up tests were performed however no conclusion was reached however it was noted that he was not to “mobilise independently”. Later that day, he required assistance to attend the bathroom. He was unable to buzz a nurse and found no assistance. On that basis, he decided to walk to the bathroom. In the process, he suffered a further fall striking his head more forcefully than previously. He laid unresponsive for a further minute.

It was not until a further 14 hours following his second fall that scans were performed on his brain. These scans revealed a haematoma. Unfortunately, following the development of this haematoma, operative measures were unsuccessful and this husband and father ultimately was placed in palliative care. He remained alive, but unresponsive from September 2014 to mid-2015, when he eventually passed away.

Understandably distressed, this family approached Gerard Malouf and Partners in the months before their loved ones passing. Mr Leslie Abboud a Senior Solicitor with over 30 years’ experience in medical negligence took carriage of this matter.

Mr Abboud quickly found evidence that this man was not to mobilise independently. Moreover, it was questioned why the period of time between his second fall and radiological investigations was so long. In order to confirm his suspicions of negligence Mr Abboud briefed a series of independent medical experts to comment on the care provided. As expected, these reports identified that the hospital was negligent in caring for this man.

Armed with this evidence, Mr Abboud briefed an expert Barrister and commenced proceedings in the District Court of NSW for Nervous Shock occasioned by the family patriarch’s death.

This matter unfortunately was somewhat complicated by the deceased’s unrelated medical issues which provoked the question, whether or not they had an impact upon his demise.

Despite this Mr Abboud was able to arrange a mediation and being aware of the complex associated medical issues in this case, was manage to negotiate a settlement of $350,000.00 for this grieving family.

Whilst we understand that this settlement will never bring back their loss, we hope it assists in providing them with a sense of justice and closure.

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