A leading plastic surgeon who promises his surgery is a “work of art” is looking at trying to stop a class action brought by hundreds of women who claim they were injured after surgery carried out at like a “fast food franchise”, a court has been told.
The move by Dr Eddy Dona comes as medical malpractice insurers, including his own, were dragged kicking and screaming into the court action brought by women who claim the Cosmetic Institute clinics gave them the same type of implants in operations that were the same regardless of their size, breast shape or individual variations.
In the Supreme Court, Justice Peter Garling threw the women a lifeline by ordering the three insurance companies can be sued along with the clinics and Dr Dona, giving the women the chance to recoup money to have their breast implant surgery corrected.
At the same time, lawyers for Dr Dona, who it is alleged was responsible for designing, implementing and supervising the company’s approach to breast augmentation surgery and also training the TCI doctors at the TCI clinics, told the court he was considering an application to stop the class action.
Dr Dona has denied any wrongdoing.
It would mean each of the over 1000 women would have to bring individual actions, their solicitor Sally Gleeson said yesterday.
Ms Gleeson is a partner in law firm Turner Freeman who are representing the women on a no-win no-fee basis in what is the country’s first class action against the booming cosmetic surgery industry.
The court gave Dr Dona, who is defending his role, until March next year to decide whether to challenge the class action, prolonging the proceedings.
Ms Gleeson said her clients would not be deterred from “fighting to the end”.
She said many of the women were already traumatised.
Two of them, Amy Rickhuss, 24, and a 42-year-old, were rushed to hospital after they had to be resuscitated on the operating table at two of the company’s clinics at Parramatta and Bondi Junction.
The other TCI clinics were at Parramatta, TCI Bondi Junction, Concord Private Hospital, Holroyd Private Hospital and at TCI Southport in Queensland.
It is alleged that the clinics were run like a “fast food franchise” with women allowed to pay off their new breasts at $5 a week.
Dr Dona, who is defending his role, was the only one of the 12 doctors who worked at the clinics who was an accredited plastic surgeon. He still works as a plastic surgeon at his Bella Vista clinic and advertises on his website that his surgery is a “WORKOFART”.
The other doctors all continue to work.
Dr Dona’s insurer, MDA National Insurance Pty Ltd, has claimed that he did not provide a “health care service” while insurers Newline and Allied World Insurance, which covered the clinics, have claimed the clinics did not behave in compliance with their insurance policies.
Article and image sourced from the Daily Telegraph, reporter JANET FIFE-YEOMANS.