West Australian Medical Negligence Law Blog

West Australian Medical Negligence Law Blog

Insights On Medical Negligence Issues From The Perth Area And Throughout Australia

I have been a lawyer for 21 years, during which time I have predominantly represented injured people in pursuing compensation claims. In the last 10 - 15 years, I have focused on medical malpractice / medical negligence law and particularly claims arising from negligent medical care. Read more

Category Archives: Our Cases

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Botox + Dermal Fillers (+ IPL) – they may be more dangerous than you think!

Posted in Cosmetic Surgery (and Other Treatment), Our Cases
We have recently agreed to act on behalf of a client who has suffered significant irreparable facial scarring/disfigurement as a consequence of dermal fillers, she underwent earlier this year @ a slick, web-advertising, brochure wielding, ‘wellness’ clinic in Perth’s metro area (can’t you just picture the ‘world muzac’/running water + Buddha heads!). We have now … Continue Reading

Settlement of medical negligence claims (part 2)

Posted in Our Cases
 Following on from my earlier post, because of the uncertainty that remains as to when a settlement becomes binding, if there is urgency, the uncertainty should be removed by express agreement. This is illustrated by a case resolved a month or so ago for a 59 year-old woman tragically suffering from terminal cancer. Her claim … Continue Reading

Are Medical Negligence Trials Facing Extinction?

Posted in Our Cases
Interestingly, I have, in the last 6 to 12 months noted a drop in the number of medical negligence and other personal injury claims proceeding to trial (it has to be said with some personal frustration/disappointment). Traditionally my advice to clients has been that, if they obtain a supportive expert opinion critical of the care … Continue Reading

A List of Recent New Instructions

Posted in Our Cases
As part of the process of interviewing for a new solicitor to join the firm, I have reflected on the types of case we have recently been instructed in and those areas of medicine that are emerging as fertile areas for claim.  Traditionally, major repeat areas of work continue to be gynaecology, GP care, neurosurgery, … Continue Reading

Can ‘latent’ medical injury claims that were time barred before November 05 be brought now?

Posted in Case Summary, Our Cases
 Just a short note that argument has taken place before Judge Schoombee in relation to this question, in the matter of Lola Phillips v Min for Health. As expected Judge Schoombee reserved her decision.. The key facts in the case are: 1) Lola was born in March 2002, and was born with congenitally dislocated hips. … Continue Reading

Lap Band Surgery + Alternatives: The Risks + Benefits

Posted in Contemporary Medicine, Cosmetic Surgery (and Other Treatment), Our Cases
Working yesterday and today on a very tragic case for the family of a young women who died after weight-loss surgery, in 2007. The women underwent a sleeve gastrectomy, one of the 2 most common forms of weight-loss (or bariatric) surgery, performed in Australia today. While working on the case, I thought it worth sharing … Continue Reading

Damages for Home Services

Posted in Our Cases
 I came across an interesting point today, while working on a tragic case arising from the death of a relatively young women, who’s son suffers from (and prior to her death suffered from) a serious mental illness. Following the women’s death (which we allege was caused by negligent medical care), claim is made on behalf … Continue Reading

What makes a Good Settlement = more than just $

Posted in Our Cases
An interesting recent case has illustrated (again) that the merits of a settlement, can often involve more than just a question of the overall total settlement sum agreed to be paid. Upon settlement of medical negligence (and other personal injury) claims, there are a series of standard potential deductions from our client’s total settlement figure, … Continue Reading

The Radiologist + GP: Communication with the Patient

Posted in Cancer Cases, Contemporary Medicine, Our Cases
I recently came across an interesting article in a medical insurance journal, discussing the responsibilities of a radiologist to ensure communication of important x-ray or other radiology test results.  The conclusion of the article was that the radiologist has responsibility for prompt first-hand communication with the referring GP, but the article stopped short of suggesting … Continue Reading

Does a Doctor have a duty to inform of Disciplinary Action/Restrictions?

Posted in Our Cases
 Working this afternoon on a claim for a client who suffered serious complications as a consequence of gynae surgery, performed by a surgeon who has recently (and previously) been the subject of disciplinary action by the (now defunct) State Medical Board. The interesting question that arises, following my client learning of such disciplinary action which … Continue Reading

Delay in diagnosis of Cancer: Compensation post Gett

Posted in Cancer Cases, Causation Issues, Contemporary Medicine, Our Cases
One of the most emotionally demanding, complex and ultimately, often rewarding categories of case handled by medical negligence lawyers, are those cases arising from a negligent delay in diagnosis of cancer. At any one time, I am generally acting in 4 or 5 such cases. Following the High Court’s decision earlier this year, in Tabet … Continue Reading

Indemnity Costs in Medical Negligence Claims: A Missed Opportunity in WA

Posted in Case Summary, Our Cases
Unlike the historic position, Plaintiffs’ (patients) who have claims proceed to trial in medical negligence claims in WA, cannot generally recover what is known as indemnity costs, if they win and are awarded more by way of damages than they had earlier offered to accept in settlement of their claim. The consequence of this, is … Continue Reading

Responsibility: The flip-side of Autonomy following Rogers

Posted in Contemporary Medicine, Our Cases
As those who know me will attest, I have always been an advocate for patient autonomy, and informed and involved decision-making by patients, aided (but not dictated) by their clinician. In other words, a fan of the Rogers v Whittaker sanctioned ‘approach’ to medicine following the High Court’s decision. Recently, with the growth of claims … Continue Reading

2010: Most Common Claims Types at Present

Posted in Our Cases
Having just completed a review of my firm’s practice, coinciding with the end of financial year, an interesting observation – though perhaps predictable, is the types of claim which have¬†grown in frequency. Traditionally, for the last 10 + years, the most common types of claim I have acted in, relate to gynaecology and uro-gynaecology. ¬†The … Continue Reading

video transcripts?

Posted in Our Cases
 I have recently read several District Court decisions, in which very firm adverse findings have been made against Plaintiffs.   These outcomes and recent experiences on the hearing of a couple of appeals, when in my view, understandably, it was clear the Court of Appeal had difficulty appreciating the tone of evidence given at trial, lead … Continue Reading

Asher-Relf -v- Min for Health – no time extension for pre-05 birth cases

Posted in Case Summary, Cerebral Palsy, Obstetrics, Our Cases
 In this decision delivered by Judge Stevenson of the District Court on 23 December 2009, Judge Stevenson concluded that he had no power to extend the time for commencement of a claim under the 2005 Limitation Act, in relation to a child born prior to such Act’s commencement. The case, in which I am involved … Continue Reading