‘Let her get on with life’: Saga drags on for survivors
The two young survivors of the horrific Thunder River Rapids tragedy are still waiting for their compensation payouts almost four years after the disaster.
Ebony Turner and Kieran Low were just 12 and 10 years old respectively when they watched in terror as their loved ones died in front of them, but they are among the last remaining cases yet to reach settlement after the October 2016 tragedy.
On Monday, Dreamworld's parent company Ardent Leisure was convicted and fined a record $3.6 million after pleading guilty to serious health and safety breaches and while Dreamworld's insurers have reached settlements worth an estimated $20 million with those affected by the tragedy, there are still some cases that are yet to be resolved.
A group of disgruntled shareholders is also pursuing the company in the courts for alleged losses.
Several relatives of Kate Goodchild, Luke Dorsett, Roozi Araghi and Cindy Low have already received multimillion-dollar payouts, while some former Dreamworld staff and first responders have also reached settlements.
However, Ebony, the daughter of Ms Goodchild, and Kieran, the son of Mrs Low, are still waiting for their payments as lawyers and insurers grapple with the complex case.
Ebony's grandfather Shayne Goodchild last month hit out at the delay and called on Dreamworld to 'let her get on with life'.
Kieran's father Mathew, who on Monday told how his 'heart aches daily', did not want to comment on the long-running saga of his son's compensation action.
Ardent Leisure theme parks boss John Osborne said the company wanted to resolve the complex settlement process as soon as possible.
"The majority of families, first responders and others impacted by the tragedy have received
compensation," he said.
"The Ardent Board has, and continues to, press for the expeditious resolution
of the remaining claims noting that, in the case of compensation for minors, the court's
approval is required before compensation can be finalised."
Leading lawyer Bill Potts, the past president of the Queensland Law Society, said damages claims involving minors were often sensitive and complex cases as parties grapple with issues of establishing the long-term impacts of traumatic events on young minds.
"It's a complex assessment process," he said.
"Their lives are still ahead of them and the pain and suffering may be enormous.
"Money won't bring their loved ones back or heal their wounds."
Dreamworld's $3.6 million court fine was the largest industrial relations prosecution in Queensland history.
Originally published as 'Let her get on with life': Saga drags on for survivors