Insights Categories: Medical Negligence

Listen to the experts: Chatoor v Health Care Complaints Commission of NSW [2020] NSWCA 111

The NSW Court of Appeal (“NSWCA”) recently overturned a decision of the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (“the Tribunal”) in relation to two complaints concerning Dr Roger Chatoor (a cardiologist). Dr Chatoor appealed the Tribunal’s findings of unsatisfactory professional conduct on the primary basis that it had failed to correctly apply the relevant statutory test […]

AHPRA releases revised Guidelines for Mandatory Notifications about registered health practitioners

On 21 February 2020, the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) released revised guidelines in anticipation of changes to mandatory notification requirements coming into effect in March 2020. The revised guidelines explain the requirements to make mandatory notifications under the updated legislative requirements for treating registered health practitioners, non-treating registered health practitioners, employers of registered […]

General practitioner successfully appeals negligence finding

Abstract A Sydney-based general practitioner has successfully appealed a finding of negligence based on an alleged failure to refer a patient for specialist treatment in the context of particular pathology results (which predated his involvement in the patient’s care) on a background of a chronic and prolonged health condition.   District Court proceedings [1] Mr […]

A reminder about the potential strength of ‘usual practice’ evidence

Phelan v Melbourne Health [2019] VSCA 205 Defending or even assessing the merits of an action in medical negligence can often be challenging when the medical practitioners involved cannot recall the particular patient concerned. Through no one’s fault, memory can be impeded by the lapse of time and high patient volume loads. As such, it […]

Ask for help, and ask early – advice for surviving an AHPRA notification

Meridian Lawyers regularly assists health practitioners who have been the subject of notification to statutory health authorities such as AHPRA, HCCC and the OHO. Our role is to help these practitioners understand, respond to and navigate the complaints process.  Unfortunately, we regularly hear clients express distress that they are the subject of complaint. Many suffer […]

Case Note: Bergin v Queensland Cork & Timber Solutions Pty Ltd [2019] QDC 141

A cautionary tale: The risks of failing to test a witness’ evidence before trial, and the benefits of requesting a plaintiff commit to a version of events at the outset of a claim Bergin v Queensland Cork & Timber Solutions Pty Ltd [2019] QDC 141 is a decision recently delivered by Her Honour Judge Vicki […]

Is the ‘irrational’ exception feasible?

The concept of ‘Competent Professional Practice’ has been considered by Courts in a number of recent NSW cases determining medical negligence. In a recent medical negligence case South Western Sydney Local Health District v Gould [2018] NSWCA 69 (Gould),[1] the NSW Court of Appeal (NSWCA) considered the interpretation of the statutory ‘irrational’ exception to the […]

Professional Opinions – how much weight do they carry?

Hopes of helpful review of the current interpretation of the words “competent professional practice” as they appear in section 5O of the Civil Liability Act 2002 (NSW) (the Act) were dashed, as special leave to appeal was denied by the High Court of Australia (HCA) from a NSW Court of Appeal (NSWCA) medical malpractice case.[1] […]

Sparks v Hobson; Gray v Hobson [2018] NSWCA 29: Is this a prelude to the expansion of the peer professional opinion defence in NSW?

A recent decision by the NSW Court of Appeal has given rise to hopes that the current interpretation of the words “competent professional practice” as they appear in section 5O of the Civil Liability Act 2002 (NSW) (the Act) may soon be revised. Two members of the judiciary commented critically on the standing interpretation of […]