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

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Forget CSI … the humble smartphone: the medical lawyers new best friend!

Posted in Contemporary Medicine, Our Cases

It is an old saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. In the last week or so I have been reminded of this and the forensic usefulness of the modern era of smartphones and particularly phone cameras. In the last week, on 2 entirely separate substantial claims we are investigating, smartphone-based photographs provide… Continue Reading

Ian Harris’ book: whistle blown and common unnecessary operations listed

Posted in Contemporary Medicine, Our Cases

I read with interest the article in last weekend’s Sydney Morning Herald concerning Ian Harris’s recent book. In the interests of full disclosure, Ian is an orthopaedic surgeon from whom we commonly seek advice, as an independent expert to review and comment on orthopaedic cases we are investigating. He strikes me as a sensible and… Continue Reading

Fatal Accidents (which aren’t accidents) : the ‘missing’ claim

Posted in damages assessment, Our Cases

Coincidentally, in month or so before Christmas I have handled pre-trial settlement negotiations in relation to 2 similar cases, in the sense they both involved negligence allegations which it was claimed had led to the death of my clients life partners (in old fashioned speech: wives..). Although the background and issues with the medical care… Continue Reading

delay in cancer diagnosis: consequences unpredictable

Posted in Cancer Cases, Contemporary Medicine, Our Cases

I read with interest recent medical literature, reporting on research at Johns Hopkins, emphasising the role of a 3rd factor in cancer incidence. Debate has traditionally focussed on the ‘environmental -v- hereditary’ nature of many cancers.  New research, as reported, has confirmed that ‘luck,’ bad or otherwise, appears to be an even more important factor.  Random… Continue Reading

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

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

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