Case summary | Unsuccessful appeal by patient who suffered further stroke after receiving treatment in hospital

by | Aug 3, 2020 | Health Blog

The Court of Appeal upholds finding of no negligence in the treatment of an elderly stroke victim in Cairns, Queensland.

The key issues

  • Whether it was negligent of the hospital and treating doctor to administer the treatments; and
  • Whether the treatments caused the further strokes that damaged the right side of the appellant’s brain and caused left-sided disabilities.

The background

The appellant suffered a stroke on 29 July 2018 and, while in the Cairns Base Hospital receiving thrombolysis treatment, she suffered further strokes and was left significantly disabled. She sued the operator of the hospital and the principal treating doctor.

After a trial in September 2019, Henry J dismissed the appellant’s claim after accepting the expert evidence, supported by the treating doctor’s evidence, that the thrombolysis did not cause the further strokes.

The appellant appealed against factual findings made at the trial.

However, the Court of Appeal found that it was open to the trial judge to accept the evidence of the expert that had been called by the respondents, and that of the treating doctor. Their evidence was cogent and not contradicted by any other evidence. No error was identified in the trial judge’s findings and so there was no basis for appellate interference.

The appellant failed to prove that the treatments ought not to have been given and that the treatments caused the further strokes.


The outcome

The appeal was dismissed and the appellant was ordered to pay the respondent’s costs of the appeal.


The decision in Sochorova v Durairaj & Anor [2020] QCA 158 can be read here.

Enore Panetta

Enore Panetta