Hip replacement surgery claim

The matter of Lange v O’Carrigan [2013] NSWDC 183 required the court to consider a claim alleging negligence in the performance of a hip replacement procedure and revision. The claim ultimately failed.

As to the nature of the duty of care owed by a medical practitioner, Levy SC DCJ noted at [253]:

Dr O’Carrigan’s duty in that regard extended to ensuring that when operating on her left hip he would adhere to accepted protocols and checking procedures so as to be able to recognise and avoid foreseeable complications such as leg lengthening where it was reasonably possible to do so. The scope and content of that duty did not extend to a guarantee that the operation would be successful as “… Of all sciences medicine is one of the least exact”: Thake v Maurice [1986] QB 644, at p 688. The practise of the surgeon’s art should not be seen as being an exception to that statement.