Denishar Woods’s family granted $1 million payment after massive electric shock from tap



January 02, 2019 15:34:41

The family of a young girl who was seriously injured by an electric shock at a public housing property has been offered an act of grace payment of $1 million by the WA Government.

Key points:

  • Denishar Woods’s family is suing the WA Government after the electric shock
  • The $1 million act of grace payment will be deducted from any damages
  • A modified vehicle and home are already being supplied to meet the family’s needs

Denishar Woods was 11 at the time she suffered a near-fatal electric shock from a garden tap when she tried to turn off a hose at her family’s home in Beldon, in Perth’s north.

The accident in March 2018 left her with severe brain injuries.

Her family is suing the Government and could be eligible for millions of dollars in compensation if the Department of Housing is found to have failed to provide them with safe and adequate housing.

A spokeswoman for the WA Government said the act of grace payment would be managed by the Public Trustee and deducted from any damages awarded.

“The intention of the payment is to allow money to be administered by the Public Trustee to meet Denishar’s ongoing care needs, in circumstances where any civil claim against the State and/or any third parties appears unlikely to be commenced or settled/decided in the near future,” she said.

“The payment will be conditional on the family’s agreement that the $1 million will be deducted from any damages which are ultimately awarded against the State and/or repayment in the event that Denishar recovers damages from a non-State party.”

Some good news after a hard Christmas

Denishar’s mother, Lacey Harrison, said her family had not signed off on the payment yet, but that it was good news.

“It means that this year we can focus on a lot more physio and speech for my girl and giving her the best start for this year,” she said.

“Hopefully it’s the beginning of some better things for Denishar to get back to some kind of normality, hopefully with the push of better quality care other than just the community care we’re receiving at the moment..

“This isn’t just going to go away, it’s a lifelong commitment.

“If anything ever happens to me, I need to know that the security is there for my children to be able to care for her after me, and [account for the] lifelong future for Denishar herself.

“$1 million is something we would never see in a lifetime and I’m in a situation I shouldn’t be in, so it’s a start to trying to help my daughter heal and give her the best quality of care.”

‘She’s so trapped’

Ms Harrison said she had recently been informed by doctors that Denishar was likely to never be able to be fed by mouth or swallow food.

The news meant Christmas had been a difficult time for the family.

“She’s so trapped and she was quite sad on Christmas Day,” she said.

“I had to put her back in bed because everything is getting to her.

“She realises that this is stuff she used to be able to do so easily and I think it really saddens her that she can’t do it.

“Her body won’t allow her to do what she used to be able to so freely.”

House, car among support offered

The WA Government had already agreed to provide the family with an act of grace payment to help buy a modified vehicle that can carry a wheelchair.

It is also constructing a purpose-built house that will help to meet the long-term needs of Denishar and her family.

In the meantime, the family is living rent-free in a modified property.

“The State Government has been offering all the support it can to assist Denishar and her family, including ongoing provision of multiple services to meet medical treatment, accommodation, education and transport needs,” the spokeswoman said.

The WA Government is yet to receive a report from the Energy Safety Division of the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety on the cause of the incident.









First posted

January 02, 2019 15:30:51

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