Why they might be used…..
In medical negligence claims, a patient’s diaries or journals will sometimes contain relevant information. For example, they may contain advice or information they were given by their doctor or other health provider before deciding to go ahead with surgery or a course of treatment.
There may also be entries relevant to their medical condition after the treatment they complain of, and the impact of their symptoms on their day to day life or ability to work.
Diaries will also often contain other information, of a private nature, not relevant to the issues involved in the legal proceedings at all.
The decision of the NSW Supreme Court in Haragli v Tan (2021) NSWC 1581, delivered in December 2021, determined whether or not the claimant, Ms Haragli had to produce her diaries, journals, yearly planners and calendars in a medical negligence claim.
Ms Haragli had sued her GP, Dr Tan, alleging that he had failed to diagnose and treat her properly when she presented to him in May 2008 expressing concern about the condition of her left breast. She was later diagnosed with breast cancer and ultimately underwent a double mastectomy, on 18 November 2011. She asserted that the cancer should have been diagnosed and treated sooner.
Her solicitors objected to the production of her diaries / journals etc, given the broad nature of the proposed order, which would extend to diary entries and information unrelated to the claim, of a sensitive personal nature.
The Court dismissed Ms Haragli’s application, concluding that the documents ought to be produced given that her contemporaneous recordings may be relevant to the issues in the proceedings.
Orders of this nature are not always made, it will depend on the particular circumstances involved.
It is not unusual in medical negligence claims for there to be a conflict between what the doctor / health provider says was discussed and the patient’s account of the same conversation.
Clients often ask, how can I prove I am telling the truth?
An experienced personal injury solicitor can advise you what documentation or other information you may hold which will corroborate your case. This is one of the many issues we will discuss with you at your initial, obligation free meeting. Give us a call today, at Lindbloms Lawyers 8357 7611 to make your appointment.