Woman’s death leads to NSW hospital medical negligence claim

Date: Dec 04, 2014

A man has agreed to a medical negligence settlement with a NSW hospital after his 29-year-old partner died following staff failings.

The woman was first seen at Grafton Hospital, where she presented with severe pains in her stomach. Upon being moved to Lismore Hospital two days later, she experienced a massive heart attack.

According to APN News & Media, the patient was then put on life support, but the decision was made to switch off the machine nine days later. The woman died on January 25, 2012.

Her partner made a compensation claim against the Northern NSW Local Health District, which included damages for him and on behalf of their three children.

Dr Clifton Washaya and the Ambulance Service of NSW were also listed as defendants in the claim. Ultimately, all three accepted liability and settled the case.

Deciding on a settlement

The exact details of the settlement, including the circumstances surrounding the woman’s death and the final sum paid were kept confidential.

However, Sydney Supreme Court Justice Helen Wilson said the agreed upon terms appeared to be “reasonable”.

She remarked: “The proposal placed before the court is based upon expert assessment of the circumstances of the plaintiff and the children, together with a prediction (which is as realistic as is possible) of the impact into the future of [the deceased’s] death upon them.”

“I am satisfied that I can do no better than to adopt and approve the proposed apportionment.”

Making a medical negligence claim

Australian medical practitioners have a duty of care towards the people they treat, and when this responsibility is breached, it is possible to make a compensation claim.

There are a number of circumstances where a health care provider may be deemed negligent, including misdiagnosis of a disease or the failure to adequately inform a patient of surgery risks.

In NSW, a successful medical negligence claim could result in compensation for:

  • Economic losses, including wages and superannuation
  • Costs for past and future care required due to the negligence
  • Non-economic losses, such as pain and suffering

If you feel you have been the victim of medical negligence, you should contact a professional legal team specifically trained to deal with such issues.

To minimise the risks involved with pursuing a claim, many people seek a no-win, no-fees compensation lawyer who can offer them the best chance of success without burdening them with legal costs if a case is lost.

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