Medical Negligence – 750K for injuries from a contraceptive device

The facts:

Sarah was a middle-aged woman who came to see us after her family doctor injured her arm whilst attempting to remove an implanon contraceptive device. Implanon devices are widely used contraceptives, which eventually need to be removed. On this occasion Sarah’s family doctor persisted with the surgery after not being able to locate the device in her arm. In the process of doing so the doctor injured our client’s nerve, resulting in severe and debilitating pain and discomfort. Following the procedure Sarah underwent two further surgeries in an attempt to reduce the discomfort, however, these operations were unsuccessful and pain continued. Sarah had to stop work as a result of the injury and had difficulty taking care of her two young children. 

Our strategy:

We consulted with a very experienced general practitioner who eventually prepared a comprehensive report explaining what went wrong during the surgery. Our independent medical practitioner was of the opinion that Sarah’s family doctor should have stopped the procedure and referred Sarah to a specialist or another doctor who was qualified and experienced to carry out the procedure. 

Proceedings were commenced in the Supreme Court of NSW. We had our client assessed by an occupational therapist, a rehabilitation specialist and other doctors to ensure that her disabilities and loses were properly documented. Eventually the insurance company on behalf of the family doctor admitted liability, that is they acknowledged that the family doctor did not perform the procedure in an appropriate manner. 

The result:

The court eventually referred the matter for mediation and the matter was settled for $750,000.00. The case took less than 1.5 years from the time when Sarah saw us, which is a very short time indeed, considering the complexity of the claim.

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