Longton Legal Partner, Jonathan Coyle, responds to recent media article posted by Herald Sun on June 15, 2018 – Baby dies after reported two-hour wait in Sunshine Hospital
If an infant was not to receive timely medical treatment at a hospital’s emergency department which resulted in the unfortunate death of the infant, a claim for damages will lie with the parents of the infant.
Expert evidence would have to be obtained from an emergency department physician to establish if there was a breach of duty of care from the hospital in failing, as an example, to adequately triage and treat the infant on being admitted into the Hospital.
If the infant’s cause of death was as a result of that breach of duty of care, the parents would have grounds to bring nervous shock claims against the Hospital.
Depending on the severity of the psychiatric injuries , the parents could claim damages for:
· Non-economic loss damages
· Past and future medical treatment
· Past and future Economic loss
· Past and future domestic assistance.
McManus v Murrumbidgee Local Area Health Network  NSWSC 1347
As an example, the plaintiff Ms McManus sued for damages for nervous shock following the death of her son, who’s death was caused soon after birth. The hospital admitted responsibility for the infant’s death and the Court determined the amount of damages payable to the plaintiff which were assessed at $1,785,498 plus costs.