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Hospital found not negligent

Hyde v State of Queensland [2013], QDC 268

Koppenol DCJ

24 October 2013

Background

The Plaintiff, Mr Garry Raymond Hyde, was employed as a wardsman at the Princess Alexandra Hospital ('PA Hospital'). The Plaintiff alleges that he sustained an injury on 14 July 2007 described as an 'angina episode' after performing a '2 person lift' of a patient who had collapsed, from the floor to a resuscitation trolley in the Emergency Department.

Liability

The Plaintiff, Mr Hyde, was self-represented and appeared in person at the hearing.

The principal case advanced by the Plaintiff on liability was that the Employer was negligent in failing to have available a mechanical lifting device, such as a sling or hoist and the absence of lifting equipment resulted in a subsequent myocardial infarct suffered on 15 July 2007.

Liability was contested on behalf of the Defendant in circumstances where it was considered that there was no negligence on the part of the Employer. The Plaintiff and a co-worker, in circumstances of extreme urgency, performed an orthodox “top and tail” lift that was carried out properly in accordance with training that each had received and furthermore there is no causal connection between the myocardial infarct and the alleged lifting incident more than 24 hours earlier.

Findings

His Honour Judge Koppenol found that:-

(a) The Plaintiff experienced a mild, single episode of angina during the lifting procedure on 14 July 2007 which settled within minutes;
(b) It is unlikely that the lifting procedure caused the myocardial infarct which the Plaintiff suffered 27 hours later on 15 July 2007;
(c) The Plaintiff's subsequent cardiac treatment wholly relates to his pre-existing coronary artery atherosclerotic plaque condition.

His Honour concluded that Mr Hyde had not established any negligence or breach of contractual obligation on the part of the Hospital (and therefore, the Defendant) and accordingly the claim was dismissed with costs.