A number of publications have reported recently on the horrific story of Sandra Skinner – the Pretoria mom of three – who is claiming compensation for more than R1.8million from a doctor after her breast reduction surgeries went horribly wrong.
She alleges in court documents at the High Court in Pretoria that she was under the impression that Dr Charl Marais, a General Practitioner in Centurion, had enough specialist training to undertake plastic and reconstructive surgery on her breasts.
Skinner approached Adams & Adams Attorneys after it became apparent that the service rendered by the doctor was negligent, and the botched procedures would leave her horribly disfigured for life. Attorney, Jean-Paul Rudd, a Partner at Adams & Adams, says that a verbal agreement was reached with Marais that he would render a professional service and that he had extensive specialist training and experience to carry out the plastic surgery and reconstructive surgery. "In regard to the terms and conditions as part of the quotation, the claimant admits that the risks were explained and that there could be post-operative complications which may require corrective surgery," he adds. "But Marais would have been expected to deliver a professional service with the equivalent care and zeal that would be expected from a specialist in the same circumstances."
Unfortunately such incidents, where it can be shown that medical professionals have neglected their legal obligation and are negligent, are becoming commonplace. So what steps should you take if you, or a loved one, find yourself in a similar position?
Information to provide to your attorney:
- You should be able to provide your full medical history pre- and post-operation.
- You DO NOT need to have a Police case number.
What is the procedure in bringing your case to the attorney?
After consultation with the client, we source all the medical records. Upon receipt thereof, we brief an expert to indicate whether there was negligence involved on the side of the practitioner and/or hospital.
If so, counsel is brief to prepare a particulars of claim, and a summons is issued. The matters are usually defended, and will proceed to trial, or alternatively, settled at the footsteps of the court. The whole process takes between 3 and 4 years.
What types of medical matters do our attorneys assist with?
Any form of medical negligence! However certain matters such as 'complications resulting from a hysterectomy' don't generally proceed to a successful outcome.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.