One rumour I have heard suggests that the High Court will be asked in Amaca and Ellis to review the degree of causation needed for negligent action to be taken to have caused loss.  These critical cases are due to be heard by the Court, later this year, probably in October.

At present (and for as long as I have been in practice), it is sufficient if the negligence made a "not-insignificant" (or material) contribution to the injury.  In other words, it doesn’t matter that the bad outcome was caused by a range of factors, provided one of them was the doctor/hospital/other health provider’s negligent care.

I noted with interest similar reform efforts reported in NY in the US, where a move is being considered to bring the Law in line with other States, which require, apparently, a predominant (>50%) contribution to the injury or other bad outcome, from the negligent care.

Lets hope this trend isn’t picked up in Australia.  Unlike NY, there is no evidence to suggest a need to curb litigation, particularly in the health services sector.  What is needed is clarity in the approach to complex cases, where science struggles with answering whether negligence has contributed to loss.