Young sick father wins court battle to guarantee his case is heard

Damien Prokop has won a court battle, guaranteeing his $3 million court case against the Gold Coast City Council will be heard. Mr Prokop believes that while working as an apprentice carpenter in the 1990s, he was exposed to asbestos particles that have now given him deadly lung cancer, malignant mesothelioma, which doctors have told him will likely prove fatal in approximately 12 months.This urgency meant that his case was due to be heard in two weeks’ time, but council lawyers attempted to stall the hearing until Mr Prokop underwent an invasive surgical biopsy. They argued that this would prove whether or not he was suffering from the asbestos-related disease, and not a different type of cancer.

Mr Prokop had already undergone two needle biopsies and CT scans, and refused further invasive and painful tests. Surgical biopsies involve the risk of death and possibly spreading the cancer further, as well as involving two days in hospital and up to two weeks of recovery.

The request for a stay was denied by Justice John Byrne due to ethical concerns regarding the biopsy being an unnecessary surgical procedure. This means that the law suit will be heard soon, taking into account the deadly nature of Mr Prokop’s disease.

His solicitor, Sean Ryan said that: “It will provide great comfort to persons with mesothelioma as the courts will not order invasive surgical procedures to satisfy a defendant’s quest for certainty.”

Original story from The Gold Coast Bulletin Image source: News Corp Australia