Wrist fracture treatment & instructions to expert witness

Ansell v Hunter New England Local Health District (NSWDC per Balla DCJ, 29 July 2016 unreported) is a decision arising from allegations of negligence in the open reduction and internal fixation of the claimant’s left scaphoid following a wrist injury.

On consideration of the expert evidence, the trial judge held that there had been no breach of duty (page 29) and that a section 5O defence would have been available in any event (page 32 – 33). The claimant also failed on factual causation (page 32).

Relevant to instructions given to an expert witness, the trial judge recited part of an email sent by a solicitor to the expert which relevantly said “Attached X ray done today for (the claimant). Only rely on it if it helps us.” The relevant expert said that he took no notice of the email, which the Court accepted.

The judgment does not suggest that there were submissions on this point but, presumably because of some concern on the part of the trial judge, an order was made for a copy of the reasons to be send to the Legal Services Commissioner.




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