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Meki Jnr Puletua by his Tutor Sosefina Puletua v Sydney Childrens Hospital [2024] NSWSC 64 – What is a material change in circumstances that could justify resiling from a settlement agreement?

Following settlement negotiations in a claim involving an infant plaintiff, terms of settlement were signed. In the usual course, a listing date had been allocated for the approval of the terms of settlement by the Supreme Court of NSW.   In the lead up to the infant approving Hearing, the plaintiff’s legal advisors requested that the matter be urgently heard as the plaintiff’s health had suddenly deteriorated and he was now in a critical condition. The Court agreed to hear the matter on Sunday, 14 January 2024 given that it was in the interest of both common humanity and administrative justice for the Court to have the opportunity to deal with the matter during the plaintiff’s lifetime.

Will you be protected if you provide medical advice through an app?

There has been a proliferation of businesses in the past decade both globally and in Australia which provide medical and dental advice over the internet. The appeal to patients is obvious: convenience, low expenses and instantaneousness. But if you are the medical practitioner employed or contracted by these businesses and something goes wrong with the treatment provided, will you be afforded the same protection under the law in defending a negligence claim as you would if you had reviewed the patient in a traditional manner (i.e. in person)?

GLJ: High Court Refuses Permanent Stay in Historical Sexual Abuse Claim

On 1 November 2023, the High Court of Australia delivered its judgment in the matter of GLJ v Trustees of the Roman Catholic Church for the Diocese of Lismore [2023] HCA 32. The majority of the Court allowed GLJ’s appeal stating that the Court of Appeal was wrong to conclude that there could be no fair trial of the proceedings nor that the proceedings involved an abuse of process. Accordingly, it was held that the proceedings should not have been the subject of an order for a permanent stay and the appeal was dismissed.

Subpoena to Produce set aside on grounds of Legal Professional Privilege in the NSW Supreme Court judgment of Woolner v South Western Sydney Local Health District [2023] NSWSC 748

The Supreme Court judgment in the matter of Woolner v South Western Sydney Local Health District [2023] NSWSC 748 (“Woolner”) outlines the Court’s consideration of a subpoena to produce issued to a defendant’s law firm, calling for production of its communications with the client.

Peer Professional Opinion and Inherent Risk considered by the NSW Supreme Court in the recent case of Polsen v Harrison (No. 8)

A recent Supreme Court of NSW judgment in the matter of Katrina Polsen v Dr Harrison (No.8) (‘Polsen’) considers the pleading of Inherent Risk and Competent Professional Practice under the Civil Liability Act 2002 NSW (‘the Act’) and the viability of expert evidence based on assumptions which are not supported by evidence.

Infant Approval Judgment: Is the personal injury settlement in the best interests of the child?

A recent Supreme Court of NSW infant approval judgment in the matter of Benjamin Fletcher by his tutor Victoria Fletcher v South Eastern Sydney Local Health District (“Fletcher”) outlines various factors that need to be considered when deciding whether a settlement is beneficial to a person under legal incapacity.

What happens when data is breached?

In February 2017, Federal Parliament passed the Privacy Amendment (Notifiable Data Breaches) Act 2017, and a year later – in February 2018 – the Notifiable Data Breaches Scheme (NDBS) came into effect. 
  • 8 Oct 2018


Hindsight is not always a wonderful thing

The recent decision by the Court of Appeal in Argo Managing Agency Ltd v Al Kammessy [2018] NSWCA 176 serves as a reminder that the duty of care owed by a contract cleaner in a shopping centre is not an expectation of “perfection”.
  • 29 Aug 2018


When is enough enough? - anaesthetist's appeal fails

In our blog on 19 May 2018 we reported on a decision in which an orthopaedic surgeon and anaesthetist were both found negligent for failing to abandon surgery prior to the plaintiff suffering paraplegia.  
  • 5 Mar 2018


Is your expert actually an expert?

In a recent WA case the plaintiff alleged that the Hospital breached its duty of care to her by failing to recognise that she was suffering from evolving and detectable sepsis, and to commence antibiotic treatment in a timely manner. The Court was only asked to make a finding as to liability.

Forged consent forms lead to suspended registration

A medical specialist has been prosecuted for professional misconduct and had their registration suspended after forging consent forms for over 30 patients.

Changes to the medical complaints process in Australia

The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) is the organisation responsible for the implementation of the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme across Australia. 
  • 1 Jun 2017


Hicksons 2017 Health Law Forum Wrap Up

On 15 March 2017 we were delighted to host our annual Health Law Forum. The Forum is designed to provide those working in the health care sector with a series of presentations from eminent speakers that address both legal issues and challenges facing the health sector generally.
  • 21 Apr 2017


Not being heard

A recent decision of the Federal Court of Australia determined the primary judge denied the appellant procedural fairness and allowed an appeal after considering the primary judge was wrong to dismiss a matter. The primary judge concluded there was an abuse of process in the appellant’s claim and she had been discriminated against after being denied the presence of a sign language interpreter to assist her husband with communication during the birth of their child.

Victorian Government’s position paper in relation to advance care plans

The Victorian Government have released a position paper entitled ‘Simplifying medical treatment decision making and advance care planning’ in response to its commitment to give statutory recognition to advance care directives. 
  • 29 Jun 2016

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