Central Coast man awarded over $3 million after suffering work injury and subsequent medical negligence at a Queensland Hospital leaving him a paraplegic

Published 19 Oct 2017

This very sad matter involved a Central Coast man who suffered a work accident whilst employed as a sand blaster working at a port in Queensland. He was sitting in a stationary position over a period of three and a half days with minimal movement and in the course of lifting up one of the machines, he felt severe pain in his back.

He was taken to a local hospital and was initially provided with a large quantity and variety of pain relief medication, but was not referred for any x-rays to exclude serious injury to his lower back. He was discharged and advised to go home and rest. Over the next few days, he was heavily sedated from the prescribed pain medication but continued to experience pain in his back and paraesthesia in both of his legs.

Unbeknownst to him at the time, a disc had pushed on to the nerve and was numbing the lower part of his body. Upon realising the loss of sensation in his lower body, he immediately called an ambulance and was taken back to hospital. Despite his objections as a result of the pain, the ambulance staff encouraged him to lay down in the ambulance. Upon arrival at the hospital, an urgent MRI was performed and our client was advised that he needed immediate surgery to relieve the pressure on his nerve.

Unfortunately, as a result of his initial accident and subsequent treatment in the ambulance and at the hospital, our client is now a paraplegic, substantially wheelchair bound and completely unfit for employment. Understandably devastated at this outcome, our client approached Gerard Malouf & Partners to enquire about whether he was entitled to a claim not only for worker’s compensation but also for medical negligence regarding the treatment he received.

Christine Beshay, Senior Associate and Accredited Personal Injury Specialist, took carriage of the matter. After obtaining an understanding of what had happened to our client, Ms Beshay was of the view that there was clear merit in this claim and negligence in these circumstances. Proceedings were commenced against our client’s employer, two of the treating doctors, and the ambulance service. We proceeded to have our client assessed by a number of expert medical practitioners who provided reports detailing the extent of his injuries, both physical and psychological.

Given the complexity of this claim and severity of our client’s injuries, Ms Beshay arranged a mediation in an attempt to resolve the matter and assist our client by avoiding the costly and stressful process of the matter proceeding to a hearing. Each of the parties attended the mediation, and Ms Beshay was able to negotiate a settlement figure of $3.1 million in compensation for the client. Our client was very happy with this outcome and felt like he was finally able to move forward with his life following this tragic accident.

If you have been treated by a hospital or medical practitioner and believe that there may have been some form of medical negligence or malpractice, we urge you to contact Gerard Malouf and Partners today. Our expert medical negligence team offers a personalised and professional experience to make sure that every client feels at ease as they are guided through the legal process of seeking compensation for their physical or psychological injuries.

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