Ms Woodward said the Furness inquiry relating to disgraced gynaecologist and obstetrician Dr Emil Gayed, who practiced in Taree, had again shone a spotlight on medical negligence issues experienced by local people. She said the Aged Care Royal Commission is also shining a spotlight on poor aged care providers.
“We want to help people and their families in the Manning and other parts of regional NSW to seek answers, to seek justice and compensation from rogue doctors as well as health care providers and aged care facilities who provide sub-standard care,” Ms Woodward.
“We fight passionately for our clients but also provide other resources and referrals for support because we understand our clients have experienced significant trauma,” she said.
“Our team is predominantly female, and we find that many women prefer to have a female lawyer represent them, particularly for women’s health law issues.”
“In the many cases we are currently running for victims of rogue doctors, such as Dr Gayed, we always take the time to listen and appreciate the impacts on our clients.”
She said that the firm’s in-house clinical nurse consultant means her team can quickly get to the crux of a legal issue and determine if there is a case with which to proceed.
Catherine Henry Lawyers’ principal, Catherine Henry, said many people living in regional NSW are reluctant to make complaints or to seek answers or justice from health professionals for fear of “rocking the boat”.
“Local people and local solicitors may be reluctant to take on local doctors because of close connections,” Ms Henry said.
“We take on those cases because litigation helps hold health professionals to account and forces changes to health care practices, so mistakes do not happen to another person or family,” she said.
Ms Woodward has lived and worked in Taree as a personal injury lawyer for more than 10 years. She is a Law Society of NSW accredited specialist in personal injury law. Ms Henry has decades of experience in health and medical law, working on many high-profile cases, particularly in relation to women’s health.
Catherine Henry Lawyers is the only firm headquartered in Northern NSW and one of only two firms based outside of Sydney to make the prestigious Doyles Guide list of NSW’s top 16 medical negligence plaintiff lawyers. It also has offices in Newcastle and Sydney.