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

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

An example of the dangers of self-representation

Posted in Case Summary

My impression is that there has been an increase in recent times of cases presented before our District Court in which claimants have represented themselves, without a lawyer. A sobering example of the dangers of this course, is the New South Wales Supreme Court’s recent decision in Fan -v- South Eastern Sydney Local Health District (No. 3) [2015] NSWSC 1620.… Continue Reading

UK adopts Rogers + ‘patient driven’ test about risks disclosure for medical treatment

Posted in Case Summary, Cerebral Palsy, Contemporary Medicine

The UK has recently altered its position in relation to the important question of a doctor’s obligations to warn their patients concerning risks of treatment. Preceding the decision in Montgomery v. Lanarkshire Health Board [2015] UKSC 11, delivered on 11 March 2015, the UK had long maintained its acceptance of the so-called Bolam principle, reiterated… Continue Reading

Mules v Ferguson: peer defence overturned + patient wins!

Posted in Case Summary, Causation Issues

I read with interest the Queensland Court of Appeal’s recent decision in relation to this matter. The Court of Appeal by a 2:1 majority overturned the trial judge’s earlier rejection of this medical negligence claim. The case involved allegations of negligence against a general practitioner for failing to refer a patient ultimately found to suffer… 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

Open Disclosure – demanding expectations, but are they ever met?

Posted in Contemporary Medicine

Courtesy of my colleague (and friend) Bill Madden, I note the NSW Government has issued a Policy Directive in relation to Open Disclosure, a copy of which can be found here. I note with interest, the “MANDATORY REQUIREMENTS” of such policy: 1. Acknowledgement of a patient safety incident to the patient and/or their support person(s), as… Continue Reading

Almario: the final chapter

Posted in Case Summary

 To complete the journey, can confirm that the special leave argument on this case, mentioned in earlier posts, was dismissed by the High Court on 16 August 2013.  The court did not required counsel for the respondent to make oral submissions…  Clearly they believe the Court of Appeal got it right..… 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

Wallace v Kam: a landmark case on failure to warn of possible surgical risk

Posted in Case Summary, Failure to Warn

The NSW Court of Appeal, on 13 April 2012 handed down its decision in relation to Mr Wallace’s claim against neurosurgeon Dr Kam. The case sought to challenge the accepted position in relation to failure to warn cases. Following the High Court’s decision in Rosenberg v Percival, it has generally been accepted that to succeed… Continue Reading

West Australian Public Hospital Performance 2009 year

Posted in Contemporary Medicine

 While trawling around looking for some information on trauma surgery, came accross this neat and convenient summary of our public hospital system’s performance against several key performance indicators for the 1st 6 months of 2009.  Makes interesting reading, particularly the ongoing ‘battle’ with accident and emergency services.   I particularly noted the pretty awful results… Continue Reading