Queensland Sunshine Coast Man Receives Over $250,000 Settlement Following Hospital’s Failure to Investigate/X-Ray Knee Injury

Published 05 May 2016

Our client, a 55 year old man from the Sunshine Coast of Queensland, injured his right knee when it hyper-flexed whilst exiting his car. In significant pain, he immediately presented to his regional hospital for treatment and was scheduled for a total knee replacement. The routine knee replacement was uneventful but clinical notes recorded our client had “ significant gout affecting all three compartments” of his right knee.

Discharged from the hospital the day after his surgery, our client was back to this regional hospital one week later after having suffered yet another fall and injuring the same right knee. He was weight bearing with acute pain and both Endone and Panedol tablets provided little relief. Our client was reviewed by several Doctors, even treated with antibiotics, rest, physiotherapy, mobilization, and pain management, but at no point did anyone at the hospital think to perform an x-ray of our client’s right knee to ensure his previous replacement was still in good position. Our client returned to the hospital on several subsequent occasions over the course of the following three months for review and physiotherapy but, again, there were never any x-rays or radiological investigations conducted.

It wasn’t until nearly eight months of complaining about the pain in his right knee, our client finally received a referral from his General Practitioner for an ultrasound, which immediately diagnosed a quadriceps tendon rupture that had been there for quite some time as well as retraction and atrophy of his quadriceps muscle. For obvious reasons, our client was quite distraught at the news his trusted hospital had failed to investigate and appropriately diagnose the severe injury to his right knee. Unsure of what to do next, he made the right decision by contacting the expert medical negligence solicitors at Gerard Malouf & Partners for advice.

On an absolutely No Win, No Fee basis, Gerard Malouf & Partners took on the case so as to investigate the allegations more thoroughly. After obtaining the relevant medical records from the hospital and other treatment providers, an Orthopedic Surgeon was instructed to comment on the standard of care provided to our client.

This expert report was explicitly clear that the Queensland Hospital fell below a standard of care that would be considered acceptable in their failure to conduct x-rays of the right knee. Radiological imaging would have allowed our client the opportunity to undergo primary repair and would have provided him with a much better outcome. By the time the quadriceps injury was finally recognized, significant wasting and retraction had already occurred leaving our client with very little option as a primary repair at this stage would have most likely been unsuccessful.

On the basis of our expert opinion, court proceedings were filed with the Queensland Courts. and, After extensive discovery (ie exchange of information), the experienced and knowledgeable medical negligence solicitors were able to negotiate a $250,000 settlement for our client to compensate him for the hospital’s failure to conduct the most basic of investigations: the ubiquitous and always available x-ray.

Should you feel that you have been a victim of medical negligence because a Doctor or Hospital failed to provide you with adequate care, please contact one of the expert solicitors at Gerard Malouf & Partners to investigate on a no win, no fee basis, your potential claim for medical negligence.

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