Court to hear $1m claim against Richard Reid

A WOMAN has alleged that surgery by a former University of Newcastle associate professor of gynaecology ‘‘had the effect of something like a sexual assault on her’’, a court has heard.

The woman has applied to have the NSW Supreme Court hear her damages claim of more than $1million against Dr Richard Reid after surgery in 2010.

The claim is higher than the NSW District Court limit of $750,000.

The woman, 57, from the Central Coast, can no longer have sexual intercourse with her husband after two operations by Dr Reid relating to prolapse, her barrister Ngaire Watson told Supreme Court Registrar Kenna this week.

Dr Richard Reid

Dr Richard Reid

Dr Reid’s solicitor David Brown said his client ‘‘was going to answer any allegation at the appropriate time in a court proceeding’’.

In a statement of claim the woman alleged the surgery involved the use of mesh products without her consent.

The woman would be assessed by a therapist specialising in sexual abuse, Ms Watson said.

Registrar Kenna was told the woman suffered ‘‘explosive diarrhoea most of the time’’ and urinary incontinence, and had to leave her job because ‘‘she can no longer leave the home’’.

‘‘It has had a profound effect on her,’’ Ms Watson said.

In her statement of claim the woman alleged she suffered severe and debilitating pain by November 2010, within weeks of two separate surgical procedures by Dr Reid.

The woman has alleged another specialist removed infected mesh from her pelvic region in March 2011.

Mr Brown told Registrar Kenna that his client did not consent to, or oppose, the woman’s application to have the matter heard in the Supreme Court.

In September 2011 Dr Reid had conditions placed over his practice that included the need to obtain valid informed consent for the surgery he performed.

In July 2014 the Medical Council suspended Dr Reid but he was reinstated on appeal. In March the Medical Council ordered him to stop performing major surgery. He is under investigation by the Health Care Complaints Committee.

Dr Reid worked in Michigan in the United States for 19 years until he was suspended following serious complaints from patients.

He returned to Australia in 1997 and was not required to advise authorities of the US action.

A woman in the US received $7.6 million after a civil case following surgery by Dr Reid.

The woman was one of three women whose claims against Dr Reid were heard by the Michigan Medical Board and substantiated. The women received financial settlements.

The Newcastle Herald understands the conduct of the US proceedings and decisions on settlements were made by Dr Reid’s insurers.

The Australian woman’s case will return to court in August.