Gold Coast Man Settles Medical Negligence Claim against Chiropractor for Over $350,000

Published 09 May 2016

Our client, a 49 year old man living on the Gold Coast in Queensland, had been experiencing lumbar spine dysfunction which was causing him lower back and leg pains. After undergoing spinal X-rays revealing arthritic changes in several areas of his spine, he was referred on to a chiropractor in the Coolangatta area for treatment over a period of four months with some degree of success.

However, shortly following the last chiropractic consultation, our client, who didn’t drink or smoke and with no previous history of stroke, began experiencing stroke like symptoms. Further investigations revealed he now suffered from a vertebral artery dissection which is well known and documented to cause stroke and can often times stem from overly manipulative care and treatment to one’s neck. However, review of his chiropractor’s medical records failed to identify a specific cause and/or treatment provided that may have caused such an injury. Because manipulation/adjustments are, most times, a safe, conservative and effective form of care, our client feared he may never be able to prove what he knew in his heart of hearts: the chiropractor was medically negligent.

Armed with nothing more than a hunch, our client took advantage of the free consultation and No Win, No Fee arrangement with Gerard Malouf & Partners. Going on little more than the client’s initial instructions, the experienced solicitors knew there was a very strong correlation with the chiropractic treatment provided and the stroke that eventuated so they took to investigating that connection. Through extensive research, the medical negligence solicitors at Gerard Malouf & Partners were able to identify where the chiropractor fell short of a standard of care that would be accepted by peer rational opinion. Utilizing their wide array of medical experts, they were able to obtain an expert medical opinion stating that, because of the chiropractor’s failure to document the type of adjustment provided, and despite the precise mechanism of injury being unknown, it was more likely than not the vertebral artery dissection resulted from an adjustment(s) provided. In other words: the chances of this type of injury occurring without there being some type of medical negligence was astronomical.

Through their years of experience, the knowledgeable medical negligence solicitors at Gerard Malouf & Partners know better than to shy away from a matter where the clinical notes don’t contain the proverbial “smoking gun”. Under peer accepted chiropractic care, it is extremely remote to suffer a stroke and research has shown that up to 1 in 5.75 million chance of such a complication occurring without there being some form of negligent treatment so, in this case, just because there was no “smoking gun” in the medical records corroborating what type of adjustment was performed, doesn’t mean our client wasn’t “shot”.

Being thorough and exhaustive, medical negligence solicitors at Gerard Malouf & Partners were able to establish this client’s claim for breach and causation and therefore able to bring the Chiropractor to task for his negligent treatment. In the interest of avoiding a time intensive and expensive trial, the client instructed his wishes were to negotiate a settlement on his behalf which Gerard Malouf & Partners were able to do, successfully. Settlement was reached by both parties whereby our client was to receive over $350,000 for his painful injuries which now have him taking blood thinning medications for the rest of his life and have decreased his quality of life as he now forced to shy away from hobbies and pastimes that now pose a greater risk of injury to him, such as riding his beloved Harley Davidson.

If you or anyone you know feels they have been injured by medical negligence, please contact Gerard Malouf & Partners for your free consultation. If something went, wrong the medical negligence experts at Gerard Malouf & Partners will set it right.

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