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Woman to Receive Compensation for Prescription of Wrong Drug after Case goes to Appeal Court

A woman in Australia is to receive compensation for the prescription of the wrong drug against a doctor contracted by her employer after the case was heard in the Court of Appeal.

Michelle Strickland from Macquarie Fields in Sydney brought her compensation claim for the prescription of the wrong drug after the fifty-three year old process line worker had passed out in November 2010 at Chep Australia’s Wetherill Park factory.

Michelle was taken to hospital, where a CT scan revealed that an aneurysm in her brain had ruptured and she had suffered a near-fatal neurological injury. Michelle underwent two major brain operations over the course of the next twelve months, but now suffers from facial paralysis and memory loss, and has difficulty holding a conversation with her two grandchildren.

Following a routine visit to her GP, a connection was found between the ruptured aneurysm and anti-inflammatory medication she had been prescribed by her employer´s contracted doctor to treat a repetitive strain injury she had developed while working on the factory process line.

Michelle made a claim for compensation for the prescription of the wrong drug against her employer, claiming that she had complained to the company´s doctor about headaches which occurred whenever she took the medication, but the doctor had advised her to rest until headaches passed and then to start working again.

Chep Australia denied Michelle´s claim, arguing that there was no link between Michelle´s neurological injury and her role in the factory, and that her ruptured aneurysm was probably caused by Michelle´s high blood pressure and smoking habit.

After an initial hearing at the New South Wales Workers Compensation Commission, Michelle was awarded a weekly compensation amount and her medical expenses paid; however Michelle´s employers contested the decision and took the case to the Court of Appeal in Sydney.

At the Court of Appeal in Sydney, judges found in Michelle´s favour and upheld the original decision to award compensation for the prescription of the wrong drug.

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