Healthcare & Medical Negligence

The Australian healthcare system faces numerous challenges against a backdrop of technological change together with an ageing and increasing population. Our insurance expertise coupled with a deep understanding of the healthcare industry means we are well placed to provide specialist legal advice on a range of claims including:

  • hospitals, health clinics and other allied medical service providers such as radiology and pathology practices and alternative therapists;
  • medical practitioners and registered health practitioners;
  • aged care and respite facilities;
  • life sciences;
  • medical device manufacturers;
  • medical training facilities; and
  • indemnity associations and regulatory bodies.

We provide advice and act for numerous key players across the health sector – including Regulatory Authorities, District Health Boards, disciplinary committees, medico malpractice insurers and a variety of health professionals, on a wide range of disciplinary and regulatory matters such as coronial inquests, disciplinary proceedings, risk assessments, and complaints and proceedings before the Professional Standards Committees and State Tribunals.

Some of our recent Health and Medical Malpractice experience includes:

MEDICAL NEGLIGENCE

  • Claims against GP’s for:
    ­ – failure to refer a plaintiff to hospital in circumstances where he was suffering from meningitis;
    ­ – delay in diagnosis of a melanoma;
    ­ – professional misconduct brought by the HCCC in the occupational division of NCAT.
  • Allegation that a nurse raised a bed following spinal surgery in a manner that resulted in the plaintiff suffering quadriplegia.
  • Claims against Hospitals for:
    – failure to diagnose a fatal case of septicaemia;
    – negligent medical treatment which caused or contributed to the plaintiff suffering a stroke following a fall on stairs at a major hotel chain in NSW.

MEDICAL DEVICE MANUFACTURERS

  • Defence of a claim for psychiatric injury following a failed anaesthetic which resulted in the plaintiff having anaesthetic awareness.
  • A claim for damages for severe allergic reaction and cosmetic deformity following a facial tissue augmentation.
  • Claims relating to premature failure of prosthetic hips resulting in revision surgery.

INJURY CLAIMS

  • Defence of a claim by a GP against the owner of large chain of medical centres for personal injuries suffered due to a failure to supply him with an ergonomically sound work station.
  • A claim for significant damages for toxic shock, poisoning, infliction of disease and PTSD resulting in a need for heart surgery, amputation of the plaintiff’s left leg and ongoing treatment allegedly caused by bed bug bites during a stay at a major hotel chain.
  • Multimillion dollar claims for catastrophic injuries to children.
  • Claims for alleged delay in diagnosis.
  • Claims involving the accident compensation regime in New Zealand.

CORONIAL INQUESTS

  • Into the deaths of a mental health patient whilst in community care.
  • Representing a pharmacist in circumstances where a patient died of an overdose.
  • Acting for a Hospital in defence of a medical negligence claim brought under PIPA where the patient died whilst in the care of the Hospital and the family alleged the Hospital had exacerbated her condition.

REGULATORY AND DISCIPLINARY MATTERS

  • Acting for a psychologist in relation to alleged professional misconduct in a hearing before the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal brought by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA), on behalf of the Psychology Board of Australia;
  • Acting for dentists (on instructions from their professional indemnity insurers) in disciplinary proceedings before both the Dental Practice Board and VCAT.
  • Acting for a radiologist in relation to a complaint lodged through AHPRA for unprofessional conduct.