Dreamworld to be sued by first responders to tragedy

Written on the 9 October 2018 by David Simmons

Dreamworld to be sued by first responders to tragedy

The four first responders who arrived at the grisly scene following 2016's Thunder River Rapids tragedy at Dreamworld will sue parent company Ardent Leisure alleging psychological injuries.

Safety officers John Clark, Shane Green and Rebecca Ramsey, as well as engineer Paul Burke, will file a statement of claim against Dreamworld.

The statement of claim from the four Dreamworld staff comes as new information arises from a colonial inquest into the Thunder River Rapids disaster.

It has been revealed today that the ride was declared "mechanically and structurally safe" just over one week before it killed four people in 2016.

Represented by Shine Lawyers, the four claim they have suffered irreparable psychological trauma from witnessing the aftermath of the tragedy.

Shine Lawyers' Solicitor Tina Ibraheem says they are suffering from trauma "beyond anything I have ever seen".

"Nobody should ever have to see what they were confronted with when they entered that trench," says Ibraheem.

According to reports, the bodies of the four who lost their lives on the Dreamworld ride were so badly disfigured from crush and compression injuries that medical staff were literally unable to do anything to assist them.

"The nation was overcome with grief and everybody tried to piece together in their minds what happened to those innocent people as they were dragged into that machinery," says Ibraheem.

"Our clients, however, saw exactly what happened to the four bodies and they have to live with those images for the rest of their lives."

"Seeing other human beings die the way they did under such horrific circumstances is going to be impossible to ever properly move on from."

"Their lives have changed forever seeing those four people die the way they did. It has absolutely broken them. Although none of our clients still work at Dreamworld they have to make a living and every day is a struggle for them working in the industry. They are terrified of what they might see every time the phone rings and they are called to a job."

The coronial inquest into the Dreamworld tragedy

The deaths of Cindy Low, Kate Goodchild, Luke Dorsett and Roozi Araghi are under examination by a coronial inquest into the Dreamworld tragedy.

It was revealed at the inquest today that the ride was declared to be safe just eight days before it killed four people.

That inspection was conducted by a third party engineer, Thomas Polley, who admitted to only conducting a "visual inspection" at the time.

The court was also shown footage of two separate incidents in 2001 and 2014 when the ride malfunctioned.

No one was injured during the 2014 incident, however the ride operator was sacked.

The 2001 malfunction saw several empty rafts flip over and become damaged.

Shares in Dreamworld's parent company Ardent Leisure were down 2.84 per cent at the close of trade on Tuesday afternoon.

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Author: David Simmons

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