Tara Moss: the model is preparing for a legal battle with her former doctor
Model and bestselling author Tara Moss will be seen by three doctors as she prepares to go to court with her former doctor, whom she accuses of disabling negligence.
The 49-year-old was represented by lawyers in the New South Wales Supreme Court on Wednesday as she prepares to face trial on charges related to her poor health.
The Canadian-born author is suing his former GP, Dr. Chris Coghill, over allegations that he failed to diagnose a hip condition during eight consultations over an 18-month period.
Dr. Coghill vehemently denies the allegations and is preparing to defend himself in court.
Ms Moss claims his negligence caused her constant pain, disability and economic loss after she had to put a few hyphens part of her career on hold.
The court had previously been told that she needed ongoing assistance and was seeking an “extremely large lawsuit” against her former doctor.
The court was told on Wednesday that three doctors would be examining the award-winning human rights activist before his trial in April.
Ms Moss’ lawyer, Gilbert Chiu, explained that his client would return to Australia from Canada, where she now lives, at the end of April.
It will be available for inspection by specialists a day after landing, he told the court.
Doctors’ reports will be critical to the trial, which will look at complex medical issues and the experience of multiple doctors.
Mr. Chiu said he would also try to rely on video-linked testimony from Ms. Moss’s primary care physician and psychologist in Vancouver regarding “Ms. Moss’s treatment of chronic pain.”
However, Dr. Coghill’s attorney, Duncan Graham, said the defense was still waiting for important medical and financial reports from foreign sources.
He told the court that Canadian medical records and documents relating to overseas economic losses must be submitted to the case.
“It is in the interests of all parties that the relevant documents be obtained,” Mr. Graham said.
“Basically, we need to get a response to these documents or a request within 14 days because time is running out.”
Both parties will hire forensic accountants to assess the level of expected economic damage.
Mr. Chiu noted that Dr. Coghill’s legal team sought “a fairly extensive review of Ms. Moss’s bank accounts and all social media posts.”
Judge Nicholas Chen SC asked the parties to meet to find “satisfactory common ground” on the issues before the case returns to court on March 29.
The six-week trial is expected to begin in May, seven years after Ms Moss first consulted Dr. Coghill about her pain.
In her statement of claim, the documentary maker said she began seeing a doctor regularly in February 2016 due to pelvic pain that made it difficult for her to walk or stand.
Between February 2016 and September 2017, she is said to have consulted a doctor eight times.
However, the cause of Ms Moss’s pain was only determined when she visited another general practitioner, who confirmed that she had a lateral tear around her hip joint. She underwent surgery two months later to repair the damage.
In her lawsuit, the model alleges that Dr. Coghill should have known she could have been injured during a previous procedure in 2016.
After failing to properly diagnose her or refer her to specialists for a scan, Ms Moss alleges that the GP was negligent in her caregiving duties.
She claims that the negligence manifested itself in the form of chronic hip and back pain, nerve damage, abnormal gait and psychological trauma.
However, Dr Coghill said he acted professionally and denied having a tear when he treated the author.
The GP claims that Ms. Moss is to blame for not telling him at their consultations that she was suffering from hip pain.
“If any damages were suffered by the plaintiffs, as alleged (which is denied), they were caused by or contributed to the first plaintiff’s own negligence,” Dr. Coghill said in his defense statement.
Ms Moss uses a wheelchair, and her social media accounts show she also relies on a cane, which she named Wolfie.
She describes herself as an advocate for people with disabilities and uses her social media accounts to go into detail about her experience.
Originally published as Bestselling author Tara Moss prepares for legal battle with former doctor