Patients Win Right To Sue Disgraced Obesity Surgeon

by Gopalan on  November 18, 2010 at 2:13 PM Medico Legal News   - G J E 4
Nine former patients of an Australian obesity surgeon have won the right to sue him for damages done to them during surgery.

The patients claim they suffered serious injuries after undergoing bilio-pancreatic diversion surgery.
 Patients Win Right To Sue Disgraced Obesity Surgeon
Patients Win Right To Sue Disgraced Obesity Surgeon

Brisbane Supreme Court Justice Roslyn Atkinson on Thursday ruled the nine could have an extension of time in which to bring actions against Gold Coast surgeon Dr Michael Russell Mark Broadbent.

She also allowed seven of the nine patients an extension of time in which to bring damages actions against the Allamanda Private Hospital.

There are other actions against Dr Broadbent but they were brought within the allowable time.

In April, the nine former patients who had surgery several years ago asked for an extension of time because their claim fell outside the three-year time limit that applies in medical negligence cases in Queensland.

Earlier this year, the 67-year-old Dr Russell Broadbent was forced to retire and banned from ever seeking medical registration again.

The Health Practitioners Tribunal found Dr Broadbent had shown unsatisfactory professional conduct when two of his patients died of complications. Their families have already been given the right to sue him.

Outside court, lawyer Sarah Atkinson said her clients were delighted with receiving permission to proceed with the claims, which could run into the millions of dollars.

"It's really good news because it means that we can now hopefully proceed to reach fair settlements for our clients to try to get them compensation for the horrific things that they've been through in the last few years, and hopefully start to put an end to this terrible saga for each of them," Ms Atkinson said.

"Our clients have been horrifically injured ... across the nine cases it would run into several million dollars."

Ms Atkinson said the patients she is representing have a range of major injuries.

"They range from significant fatigue, malnutrition, bowel problems, in a few cases brain injuries, and most of them have an inability to work and an inability to lead a normal life," she said.

Patient Gail Shaw, who suffered stroke-like symptoms and now has trouble speaking and walking, was in court to hear the decision.

"I lost weight but it wasn't really worth the trouble it caused," she said.

The matter will now go to mediation, with parties expected to meet before March.

Dr. Broadbent is appealing the findings of unsatisfactory professional conduct against him.

Source: Medindia

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