Recent articles, seminars & newsletters

Many of our medical negligence lawyers are recognised as leaders in their field.  They are regularly invited to present at key industry conferences and have been published in a variety of health and legal publications.

Browse the information below to learn more about Maurice Blackburn's expertise in the application and interpretation of the law relating to medical negligence.

 


Articles

 

The use of photographs in a medical negligence case
Authors: Anna Walsh and Joelle Matar
Publication: Australian Civil Liability
Date: July 2013
Synopsis: This article focuses on a recent case run by Maurice Blackburn where the Plaintiff was a brain injured child who suffered from jaundice at birth. The issue to be determined by the court was the extent to which photographs taken by the parents of the child could be used by the various medical experts to provide an opinion on the liability of the Hospital.

Scope of Liability
Authors: Anna Walsh and Divya Pahwa
Publication: Precedent
Date: November 2012
Synopsis: This article focuses on the decision of the Supreme Court of New South Wales in Paul v Cooke [2012] NSWSC 840

Paul v Cooke - a review of normative causation in a medical negligence case
Author: Anna Walsh and Divya Pahwa
Publication: Health Law Bulletin
Date: October 2012
Synopsis: This article focuses on section 5D of the Civil Liability Act NSW (200) with emphasis on the decision in the decision in Paul v Cooke [2012] NSWSC 840

Towards a national disability insurance scheme
Author Dimitra Dubrow and Tom Ballantyne
Publication Law Society Journal
Date July 2012
Synopsis This article reviews the proposed disability insurance scheme in relation to the Productivity Commission's report which raises issues relating to funding, inequality and removal of existing rights that require further consideration.

Complexities in proving delayed diagnosis of cancer cases
Authors: Anna Walsh and Greg Walsh
Publication: Precedent
Date: May 2012
Synopsis: This article reviews the approach taken by the Supreme Court of New South Wales in Coote v Kelly [2012] NSWSC 219

Life expectancy
Author: Anna Walsh
Publication: Precedent
Date: March/April 2012
Synopsis: This articles reviews the approaches taken by the courts in deciding the issue of life expectancy in catatstrohpically injured plaintiffs.

A critical evaluation of the pre-litigation protocols
Author Ramina Kambar and Greg Walsh
Publication Precedent
Date September/October 2011
Presentation synopsis A review of the legislative provisions that have recently been introduced by the Commonwealth and NSW government that require parties involved in a civil dispute to take formal steps to resolve the dispute before proceedings can be commenced.

Causation in medical negligence
Author Anna Walsh
Publication Precedent
Date July/August 2011
Synopsis This article provides an update on recent case law interpreting the statutory requirements of causation as set out in the Civil Liability Act.

Limitation Periods - A State-by-State Review
Author Anna Walsh, Dimitra Dubrow, Sharn Hobill, Janelle Morgan and Joel Matar
Publication Precedent
Date September/October 2010
Synopsis A review of the limitation laws on a state by state basis for personal injury claims in the ACT, QLD, NSW, NT, WA, SA and TAS for adults, infant Plaintiffs and persons under a legal disability. This article discusses the pre-court procedures applicable in some jurisdictions and the way in which limitation periods have changed in the context of tort reform.

Tabet v Gett: The end of loss of chance actions in Australia?
Author Greg Walsh and Anna Walsh
Publication Journal of Law and Medicine Vol 18 No 1
Date September 2010
Synopsis A review of the concept of loss of chance claims at law including the procedural history, contractual claims for loss of chance and loss of chance in a variety of non-medical cases following from the High Court decision in the case of Tabet v Gett.  This case determined that a Plaintiff is unable to recover compensation where a Defendants' breach of duty of care causes the loss of a possibility rather than a probability of a better medical outcome.

Loss of a chance
Author Dimitra Dubrow
Publication LIV Journal
Date September 2010
Synopsis This article summarises and discusses the implications of the High Court's decision in 2010 of Tabet v Gett in which the Court found that compensation in a medical negligence claim cannot be recovered if the doctor or hospital's negligence resulted in a lost chance of a better medical outcome.  Rather, a plaintiff must show that the negligence caused the injury on the balance of probabilities.

The merits of a presumed consent approach to organ donation
Author Greg Walsh
Publication Health Law Bulletin
Date July 2010
Synopsis A review of the arguments for and against a presumed consent approach as opposed to the "opt in" approach to organ donation and its impact on donor autonomy, rate of organ donation and practical concerns for families of deceased donors in Australia.

Notes on Negligence
Author Anna Walsh and Duncan Graham
Publication Australian Doctor
Date June 2010
Synopsis This article reviews the importance of contemporaneous record keeping by treating doctors during patient consultations in defending against negligence claims which was highlighted in the NSW Supreme Court case of Thompson v Haasbrook [2009], a case run by Maurice Blackburn.

Measuring Legal Expertise
Author Greg Walsh
Publication Law Society Journal
Date June 2010
Synopsis This article reviews the merits of imposing a national law examination across core legal and cross-jurisdictional subject areas to assess legal knowledge and skills for the purpose of improving standards of practice and qualification amongst Australian law graduates.

Duty of care in IVF goes beyond ensuring a successful pregnancy
Author Thena Kyprianou
Publication Precedent
Date May/June 2010
Synopsis Reviews wrongful birth claims in the context of IVF treatment and the scope of a doctor's duty of care to patients as highlighted in the unanimous decision of the ACT Court of Appeal case of G & M -v- Armellin [2009]. In this case, run by Maurice Blackburn, the Plaintiffs were successful in demonstrating that there was a breach of duty of care by their treating obstetrician in the fertilisation of two separate embryos in the absence of consent resulting in pregnancy.

Difficulties in proving causation in delayed diagnosis of an emerging condition
Author Libby Brookes
Publication Precedent
Date May/June 2010
Synopsis This article reviews the potential consequences of delay in diagnosis of a medical condition and the difficulties faced in establishing negligence where the condition is an emerging one and develops over time, as highlighted in the NSW Supreme Court decision in Thompson -v- Haasbrook [2009] . This case  was run by Maurice Blackburn and the Plaintiff was successful in demonstrating that there was a failure by her general practitioner to investigate symptoms of persistent neck pain resulting in incomplete quadriplegia.

No duty of care owed by hotel operators
Author Anna Walsh and Greg Walsh
Publication Precedent
Date March/April 2010
Synopsis A review of the scope of the duty of care of a hotel operator and licensee to a patron as highlighted in the High Court decision in CAL No. 14 Pty Ltd v Motor Accidents Insurance Board and CAL No. 14 Pty Ltd v Scott [2009], where the majority found that no duty of care existed where a  hotel patron suffered a fatal motor bike accident.

When can the limitation period for childbirth claims be extended?
Author Libby Brookes and Greg Walsh
Publication Australian Health Law Bulletin
Date January/February 2010
Synopsis Review of the Court's determination on whether limitation period can be extended to permit an infant plaintiff to commence a legal action and the question of whether a Defendant can be stopped from relying on a limitation period defence if the delay is caused by a Defendant's failure to provide relevant evidentiary material as highlighted in the District Court of Western Australia decision of Asher-Relf bhnf Douglas Bean v Minister for Health & Ors [2009], a case run by Maurice Blackburn.

At full capacity
Author Anna Walsh and Greg Walsh
Publication Precedent
Date January/February 2010
Synopsis Review of the factors to be considered in assessing whether a Plaintiff has legal capacity to carry on and settle proceedings and the issue of whether they are incapable of managing their own affairs as highlighted in the NSW Supreme Court decision in the case of Farr v State of Queensland [2009], a case run by Maurice Blackburn.

At the intersection of law and medicine: promoting the inherent dignity and human rights of persons with disabilities
Author Greg Walsh and Anna Walsh
Publication Australian Health Law Bulletin
Date March 2010
Synopsis Review of the inherent rights of persons with disabilities in civil cases for compensation involving medical negligence. The article explores examples of cases involving actions for wrongful birth, wrongful life, and treatment of infants and adults with disabilities.

Can there be a positive maternal duty of care to the unborn in Australia?
Author Anna Walsh
Publication Australian Health Law Bulletin
Date March 2010
Synopsis Review of the civil duty of care to an unborn child, whether this duty extends to a mother to protect against injuries to her unborn and the current status of the legal rights of an unborn child in the law of negligence.

Medical Practitioners and the duty to rescue
Author Greg Walsh and Anna Walsh
Publication Precedent
Date March/April 2010, Issue 97
Synopsis Review of whether there should be an exception to the general common law position regarding the duty to rescue, the scope of a medical practitioner's duty of care to assist and whether there should be a positive duty of care imposed on medical practitioners to assist persons in need.

Restrictions on recovery for pure mental harm
Author Anna Walsh
Publication Precedent
Date March/April 2009
Synopsis Review of the recent cases and legislative developments affecting the scope of an action by a patient for pure mental harm in medical negligence cases where a Defendant has failed to exercise reasonable care to protect a patient against psychiatric injury.

Damages for Wrongful Birth
Author Anna Walsh and Libby Brookes
Publication Precedent
Date March/April 2007
Synopsis Review of wrongful birth cases including Cattanach v Melchoir [2003], Brown v Thoo [2004], Gentile v Gentile & Ferris, Veivers & Connolly [1995], the damages available in medical negligence cases for wrongful birth, as distinct from wrongful life, for the additional costs associated with raising a disabled child and the unsettled case law surrounding the quantification of damages in wrongful birth cases in Australia.

An example of a 15% assessment of non-economic loss
Author Anna Walsh
Publication Precedent
Date March/April 2007
Synopsis Review of what the Court will consider 15% of a most extreme case in awarding non economic loss damages to a Plaintiff in a medical negligence claim as highlighted in the  unreported NSW District Court decision in the case of Bowden v Georghy [2006], a case run by Maurice Blackburn where the Plaintiff was successful in establishing negligence by her general practitioner arising from the removal of a black tattoo resulting in scarring and pigmentation.

Shouldering the burden of disclosure: Wighton v Arnot
Author Peter King
Publication Australian Health Law Bulletin
Date October 2005
Synopsis Review of the Court's restatement of the principles of the duty of a medical practitioner to disclose and follow up patients who may have suffered injuries during surgical procedures as highlighted in the NSW Supreme Court case of Wight v Arnot where the Plaintiff was successful in establishing negligence arising from a post-operative failure to investigate, diagnose, disclose and treat injuries.

Update on wrongful life and wrongful birth actions
Author Anna Walsh and Carly Meagher
Publication Australian Health Law Bulletin
Date July 2005
Synopsis Review of the difference between wrongful life and wrongful birth claims as highlighted in the test case on wrongful life: Harriton v Stephens, a case run by Maurice Blackburn. The article includes discussion of the impact of amendments to the Civil Liability Act, 2002 on wrongful birth actions, how these affect a Plaintiff's entitlement to claim general damages and the extent of damages claimable for the additional costs of raising a child born as a result of negligence.

Wrongful life appeal
Author Anna Walsh
Publication Precedent
Date July/August 2005
Synopsis Review of the High Court's decision to grant leave to appeal in the matter of Harriton v Stephens, a test case run by Maurice Blackburn about scope of the duty of care that exists between a doctor and a patient and the failure to provide information to a pregnant woman to allow her to make an informed choice about termination and the rights of a child born as a result of the continuation of a pregnancy.

A guide to general damages for 'wrongful birth' cases
Author Anna Walsh and Carly Meagher
Publication Australian Health Law Bulletin
Date February 2005
Synopsis Review of awards for non-economic loss for pain and suffering arising from pregnancy, labour and delivery in wrongful birth cases as highlighted in the unreported NSW District Court decision of Brown v Thoo [2004], a case run by Maurice Blackburn.

General damages for 'wrongful birth'
Author Anna Walsh
Publication Precedent
Date January/February 2005
Synopsis Review of the Court's reasoning behind an award for non-economic loss for pain and suffering arising from pregnancy, labour and delivery in the case of Brown v Thoo [2004], a case run by Maurice Blackburn where the Plaintiff successfully brought a wrongful birth claim arising from negligent administration of the contraceptive device, Implanon.

Perspectives on Finch v Rogers
Author Niall Connolly
Publication Australian Health Law Bulletin
Date May 2004
Synopsis Review of the elements required to establish a causal connection between a breach of duty of care and consequent damage in medical negligence cases as highlighted in the NSW Supreme Court decision of Finch v Rogers [2004] where the Plaintiff was successful in establishing negligence arising from his doctor's failure to follow up and request blood tests postoperatively resulting in unnecessary cycle of chemotherapy treatment and associated injuries.

PD v Harvey: Revisiting a doctor's duty of care to sexual partners
Author David Hirsch 
Publication Australian Health Law Bulletin
Date July 2003
Synopsis Review of the NSW Supreme Court of PD v Harvey [2003], a case run by Maurice Blackburn where the Plaintiff was successful in establishing negligence arising from his doctor's failure to follow up in circumstances where he had been referred to another health care professional, thereby extending the scope of a doctor's duty of care to a patient beyond consultation to the need to keep appropriate records and instigate appropriate follow-up.

Seminars

Title: Causation: A year in review
Presenter: Anna Walsh
Date: November 2013
Presentation synopsis: This presentation was made to the University of New South Wales CBD Campus as part of Legalwise Seminars on 'Medical Negligence: Year in Review. It covered the cases of Paul v Cooke, Wallace v Kam, Waller v Jamesand King vWestern Sydney Local Health Network

Title: Liability for Multidisciplinary Teams
Presenter: Anna Walsh
Date: September 2013
Presentation synopsis: This presentation was a podcast made for iCLE and covered relevant case law and practical tips on bringing law suits against multiple defendants in the medical negligence context.

Title: Aggravated injuries including pathology reports and tips for running effective claims
Presenter: Anna Walsh
Date: July 2013
Presentation synopsis: This presentation was made to the Law Society of New South Wales and covered consent, trespass to person, exemplary damages and failure to follow up test results.

Title: Medicine and the Law
Presenter: Anna Walsh
Date: July 2013
Presentation synopsis: This presentation was made to the Australian Nursing Federation in Canberra and covered expert evidence, documentation and trends in litigation for midwives.

Title: Liability of Multidisciplinary teams
Presenter: Anna Walsh
Date: July 2013
Presentation synopsis: This paper and presentation was made to the University if NSW's Medical and Health Law - Essential Update seminar and focussed on the liability of multidisciplinary teams in health care, miscommunication and informed consent.

Title: Medical Negligence Update
Presenter: Anna Walsh
Date: April 2013
Presentation synopsis: This paper and presentation was made to the Australian Lawyers' Alliance in the Australian Capital Territory and covered topics of errors arising from multidisciplinary care; failure to follow up test results; and avenues for redress. 

Title: Aspects of plaintiff litigation
Presenter: Anna Walsh
Date: April 2013
Presentation synopsis: This presentation was made to the annual Peri-Natal Society of Australia and New Zealand held in Adelaide. 

Medical Negligence Update
Presenter: Anna Walsh
Date: March 2013
Presentation synopsis: This paper and presentation was made to the College of Law and covered recent case law.

Cascading errors in multidisciplinary care
Presenter
: Anna Walsh
Date: March 2013
Presentation synopsis: This paper on Cascading errors in multidisciplinary care was presented at the College of Law in Sydney

Medico-Legal Reform
Presenter:
Anna Walsh
Date: October 2012
Presentation synopsis: This presentation was made at the Law Society of New South Wales for the Medico-Legal Society of New South Wales

Obstetric malpractice update
Presenter: Anna Walsh
Date: June 2012
Presentation synopsis: This presentation on recent case law involving birth trauma and obstetric mismanagement was made at the 3rd  annual Obstetric Malpractice conference in Melbourne.

Critical evidence in medical negligence cases
Presenter
: Anna Walsh
Date: March 2012
Presentaion synopsis: This paper on critical evidence in medical negligence litigation was presented at the Australian Lawyers Alliance State conference.

Joint expert conferences of witnesses
Presenter: Anna Walsh
Date: March 2012
Presentation synopsis: This paper on joint conferences of expert witnesses was presented at the College of Law in Sydney.

Practical considerations in running a medical negligence case from a plaintiff lawyer's perspective
Presenter: Anna Walsh
Date: March 2012
Presentation synopsis: This paper was given at a Legalwise seminar on medical negligence and focussed on factual disputes in medical negligence cases.

Assessment of Damages in a Catastrophic Injury Claim
Presenter:
Libby Brookes
Date: November 2011
Presentation synopsis: This paper on the assessment of damages for brain injured people was presented at a Lexis Nexis Personal Injury Conference.

Identifying the evidence needed to successfully bring medical negligence claims
Presenter:
Ramina Kambar
Date: 16 November 2011
Presentation synopsis: This presentation was an overview on evidence to be considered in medical negligence cases and presented at the Grace Hotel as part of a Lexis Nexis Personal Injury Conference.

Medical practitioners and the failure to follow up
Presenter
Anna Walsh
Date February 2011
Presentation synopsis The paper on litigation arising from a medical practitioner's failure to follow up on test results was presented at the Australian Lawyers' Alliance regional seminar in Newcastle.

Medical Negligence Update
Presenter
Anna Walsh and Greg Walsh
Date November 2010
Presentation synopsis A review of a doctor's duty to follow up on patients; how to calculate damages and limitaiton periods for medical negligence claims. This presentation was made at the annual Maurice Blackburn legal education workshop for community legal centres.

Common Law Personal Injury Claims - medical negligence
Presenter
Dimitra Dubrow
Conference Young Lawyers Lecture Series, Law Institute
Date September 2010
Presentation synopsis At this an annual engagement, the presentation covered all elements of medical negligence claims, including the latest court decisions and legislation.

A review of medical neglgience cases involving obstetric issues
Presenter Anna Walsh
Date September 2010
Presentation synopsis A review of how recent cerebral palsy cases were either won or lost. This presentation was made at the Annual Obstetric Malpractice Conference.

Tabet v Gett High Court decision and current trends in medical negligence
Presenters
Kathryn Booth and Dimitra Dubrow
Date July 2010
Presentation synopsis This presentation to the Office of the Health Services Commissioner provided a summary of the key High Court decision of Tabet v Gett, dealing with recovery of damages for loss of a chance in medical negligence, as well as highlighting recent trends in Medical Negligence litigation.

Practical aspects of preparing for difficult medical negligence cases and time limits
Presenters
Kathryn Booth and Dimitra Dubrow
Date April 2009
Presentation synopsis Topics in this presentation included an overview of the practical aspects of acting for plantiffs and time limits for commencing claims, including the latest court decisions relating to time limits.  This presentation was made to the office of the Health Services Commissioner.

Medical negligence: recent cases
Presenters Anna Walsh and Libby Brookes
Date March 2009
Presentation synopsis A review of recent topical cases in medical negligence and limitation laws. This presentation was made at the Legal Education Workshop for Community Legal Centres.

Medical negligence: recent cases and topical issues
Presenters Anna Walsh
Date February 2009
Presentation synopsis A review of recent topcial cases in medical negligence. This presentation was made for participants in The Continuing Legal Education Centre's Annual Personal Injury Seminar day.

If you would like further information in relation to any of these presentations please contact Maurice Blackburn's Medical Negligence department on 1800 810 856.


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