Jamberoo Fan

Thunder River Rapids Incident Civil Claims In The Media

20 posts in this topic

As I posted on Parkz last October, Ardent has made it clear in their public documents that they have received civil claims and some have been settled:

Quote

Ardent Leisure Group has received numerous civil claims from families and other affected persons and many of those claims have already been settled by Ardent Leisure Group's insurer in the normal course.

However, one is now gaining prominent media attention:

Whilst the above Twitter post & video of The Front Page does not point it out, the article published in The Courier-Mail emphasises (through their online headlines) the fact that the family is suing Dreamworld.

The Courier-Mail's article can be found here (subscriber-only article).

Edited by Jamberoo Fan

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Shattered couple sue Dreamworld after horror Thunder River collision

BRENDEN HILLS, GREG STOLZ, The Sunday Mail (Qld)
41 minutes ago
Subscriber only

 

 

THEY are the secret victims of the Dreamworld disaster.

A NSW family has launched bombshell legal action for their trauma and suffering after they were directly involved in the horror Thunder River Rapids ride tragedy which left four tourists dead, The Sunday Mail can reveal.

Bree Dedini and her husband Steven Apthorp were on the raft that collided with another carrying ride victims Kate Goodchild, her brother Luke Dorsett, his partner Roozi Araghi and Cindy Low in October 2016. The four died when their raft flipped and they were flung onto the ride conveyor.

While Ms Dedini and her family cheated death, they say the terrifying experience has destroyed their lives and are suing Dreamworld owner Ardent Leisure in the NSW Supreme Court.

In their statement of claim, the now-separated couple have alleged their plea to stop the ride after the rafts collided fell on deaf ears. While their raft landed safely, the family’s claim states they are mentally scarred after witnessing “scenes of traumatic injury”.

In the court document, Mr Apthorp claims the force of the collision saw both rafts raise up to a 75-degree angle.

He alleges he called out to the ride attendant and “told her to activate the emergency stop”, but she didn’t.

Mr Apthorp told his wife to get their children to safety and went to try and help, only to be confronted by scenes of unimaginable horror.

According to their statement of claim, filed in the Supreme Court, Mr Apthorp and Ms Dedini have alleged they both now suffer from a “recognised psychiatric illness” and post-traumatic stress disorder because of the incident.

The PTSD “continues to affect” their daily lives, the claim states.

In a defence statement filed with the court, Ardent Leisure admits the NSW South Coast couple suffered a psychiatric injury but disputes the extent of ongoing PTSD. It has also denied negligence.

On Friday, the Supreme Court heard Ms Dedini had reached a settlement with Dreamworld and the matter was adjourned to next month be formalised.

Mr Apthorp was ordered by the court to attend an informal settlement conference before May 31 and his matter was adjourned until June 1.

Ms Dedini and Mr Apthorp were not called to give evidence at the six-week inquest into the Dreamworld disaster that finished last December.

The inquest was told of a litany of alleged problems with the Thunder River Rapids ride including convoluted emergency stop procedures, missing slats on the conveyor, repeated breakdowns, a spate of previous accidents and a ‘total failure’ by theme park staff and consultants to identify the risks.

Coroner James McDougall is expected to hand down his recommendations, which could include prosecutions of Dreamworld bosses and hefty fines, in the coming months.

Four Dreamworld staff on the scene of the accident have also launched legal action against Ardent for alleged severe psychological injuries.

Last year, their lawyer Tina Ibraheem said her clients had been subjected to trauma.

“Nobody should ever have to see what they were confronted with when they entered that (ride) trench,” Ms Ibraheem, of Shine Lawyers, said. “The victims’ bodies were so badly disfigured from crush and compression injuries that these first-aid officers were completely helpless, there was nothing they could do.”

The tragedy was Australia’s worst theme park disaster since the 1979 fire on the ghost train at Sydney’s Luna Park, killing seven people.

 

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10 minutes ago, Thrill Seeker said:

I thought it collided with an empty raft????? Where did these people come from💁🏻‍♂️

I too had this exact same thought. 

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All reports were that it collided with a empty raft so I’m a little Sceptical about this story. It was reported (abc story) 

Cindy Low, Kate Goodchild, her brother Luke Dorsett and his partner Roozi Araghi were killed instantly from crushing injuries when their six-person raft collided with an emptyvessel and flipped backwards in 2016

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I think there is a genuine claim for anyone who saw what happened, more so for those first responders, but this makes no sense. I'll just have to put it down to poor journalism and hope what their involvement was gets explained later. From all the photos though there's only 2 rafts involved and wasnt even one anywhere near the scene on the Conveyor. Feel like if there was a third boat or if there were people in the first I'm shocked that this is the first I'm hearing of it.

Edited by joz
  • Like 3

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So from my observation these people were on a raft that wasn't involved in the incident but was possibly doing a ride cycle at the time? I thought there were two younger kids (around 12) on the flipped raft that managed to escape the harness because they were smaller than the others. I'd say those poor children are likely to have some sort of PTSD related illness, but not random people on another ride cycle

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For clarity - I believe the article incorrectly reports that they were in the raft that bumped against the doomed raft - in the inquiry it was established that the raft just after the conveyor belt was indeed empty. As such i've reached out to the reporters for comment. What I believe is more likely is that they were on the raft that was in the station being unloaded and somewhere along the exit.

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The reporters essentially misreported parts of this (surprise surprise). If you look at photos of the incident from the news choppers, you'll see a third raft sitting at the unload platform. That's the raft this family was on. They disembarked the ride and were walking away when shit hit the fan. The husband then essentially told the wife and kids to get out of there as he turned back around to go toward the flipping rafts to try and "assist"

Edit: A lot of news companies literally just rip articles off from eachother so if one reports incorrectly, a majority of the other articles will also have incorrect information.

Edited by Jdude95
  • Like 5

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I've been following it up with the journos who wrote the article. It's well worth reading the Twitter exchange that's transpiring currently.

 

I'm not interesting in dragging Dreamworld through the whole TRR thing, having to go hear all of the inquest findings was mentally exhausting to say the least, but I will say that if I see news reported incorrectly in this particular case i'm going to pursue it.

By all means folks, if you find information that says the other raft had folks in it send it this way.

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Don't ask for a source because i'd have no idea where to start, but I feel like I read something at some point that said when things started to back up, they would allow a raft to run through the station without loading to 'catch up'

 

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37 minutes ago, AlexB said:

Don't ask for a source because i'd have no idea where to start, but I feel like I read something at some point that said when things started to back up, they would allow a raft to run through the station without loading to 'catch up'

 

I think it was from testimony by either one of the operators, or a former operator. I recall reading it too. 

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