Orthopaedic surgeon wins case against disgruntled patient

Wednesday, 28 Sep 2016

A leading Sydney orthopaedic surgeon has won a legal battle to remove a “highly defamatory” website set up by a disgruntled patient.

According to Supreme Court documents Dr Al Muderis performed a hip arthroscopy on Gerardo Mazzella in 2010.

Following the procedure Mr Mazzella made a series of complaints against the surgeon claiming he was guilty of medical negligence.

However, a subsequent inquiry by the Health Complaints Commission concluded there was insufficient evidence to demonstrate that Dr Muderis’ provided treatment to Mr Mazzella that was “significantly below the standard reasonably expected for a medical practitioner of an equivalent level of training or experience.”

Despite the ruling Mr Mazella continued to contact Dr Muderis issuing threats to ‘never leave the doctor alone’. It is alleged that Mr Mazella created a website that included material that defamed the surgeon and made defamatory posts on Facebook and Youtube.

Dr Al Muderis took out an apprehended violence order (AVO) against the former patient last year and Mr Mazzella was ordered by the Supreme Court of NSW to remove the website.

However, proceedings from the case revealed that a new website had been created.

Dr Al Muderis requested a court order to suspend the site which was described by the supreme court as “highly defamatory”.

Justice Lucy McCallum said the “overwhelming” inference was that Mr Mazzella was behind the new website but had asked his brother or another relation to register it.

Dr Muderis fled from Iraq in 1999 after he was ordered to cut off the tops of the ears of army deserters.

He travelled to Australia by boat and spent 10 months at Curtin Detention Centre in Western Australia before being granted refugee status.

He has pioneered work using osseo integration technology, a procedure which involves using titanium implants to help amputees get a better connection between bone and a prosthesis.

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