Health Alert (Australia) - July 28, 2014

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In This Issue:

Judgments; Legislation; and Reports.

Excerpt from Judgments:

New South Wales (NSW) -

22 July 2014 - Lane v Northern NSW Local Health District (No 3) [2014] NSWCA 233 -

This was an appeal to the NSW Court of Appeal from a judgment of the District Court. The appellants are sisters whose mother passed away after having a seizure and receiving treatment at two hospitals for which the respondent is responsible. The appellants alleged that the negligent mistreatment of their mother at the hospitals caused her death and as a result, they suffer from psychiatric injuries. The primary judge dismissed the claim, finding no negligence on the part of the hospital.

On appeal, the appellants alleged that the trial judge was biased and argued that the procedures adopted at trial were unfair. The appellants had been self-represented at trial. Their arguments included that they had not been allowed to recall their father to give further evidence, that they had been prevented by the trial judge from re-examining one of the witnesses and that questions were disallowed during evidence.

The Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal. It was of the opinion that no error had been demonstrated in the course the trial judge had taken and that an allegation of bias was utterly without justification. The Court noted that the trial had been run in a way which was manifestly disorderly in an attempt to satisfy the appellants' perceived interests. They concluded that there was not only a failure to demonstrate an error, but it was not established that, if there was an error, it would have had any material effect on the outcome.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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