WARNING: Distressing content
A mum whose eight-year-old daughter was left “bleeding profusely” after going on a waterslide at Dreamworld is suing the Gold Coast theme park’s parent company for more than $1 million.
Sarah* has lodged a claim in the Queensland Supreme Court stating her daughter suffered bleeding for weeks after the November 2020 incident and required two rounds of surgery, while she herself now suffers post-traumatic stress disorder.
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The girl went down the Fully 6 waterslide at Dreamworld’s WhiteWater World and during her descent, her legs were uncrossed by the “forceful impact” of the water, the lawsuit claims.
That caused “water entering her body at force, causing a significant tear or rupture of her vaginal wall and bleeding”, according to the claim seen by 7NEWS.com.au.
Sarah also claims she could not immediately find a lifeguard.
Her daughter was taken to the WhiteWater World clinic before being rushed by ambulance to Logan Hospital.
Prior to getting in the ambulance, the girl lost an estimated 500ml of blood and needed towels between her legs to attempt to stop her “bleeding profusely”, the lawsuit claims.
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The claim states the girl suffered vaginal bleeding for three weeks after being discharged from Logan Hospital, where she spent four nights.
She also suffered abdominal pain, as well as psychological impacts such as anxiety, nightmares and withdrawn behaviour.
Sarah, the lawsuit claims, has since been diagnosed with PTSD and chronic post-traumatic anxiety symptoms.
It claims she has been forced to quit her jobs due to being psychologically unfit to work.
The loss of past and future income and superannuation, plus interest and other costs, has led to the $1,027,561 claim against Dreamworld’s parent company Ardent Leisure and contractor Swimplex Aquatics.
A little girl was injured on the Fully 6 waterslide at Dreamworld, sparking a lawsuit against the Gold Coast theme park. Credit: Dreamworld/Facebook
The lawsuit alleges Ardent is liable because staff failed to warn Sarah and the girl that she needed to keep her legs crossed throughout the entire descent down the slide, and that there was a risk her legs would uncross involuntarily and that could lead to injury.
“This was an incredibly traumatic injury for somebody to suffer at any age, let alone a girl who’s just eight years old,” said Bree Smith, from Shine Lawyers which is acting for Sarah.
“We’re alleging that park staff failed to properly educate (Sarah) on how to go down the ride safely, and that if a risk assessment had been done they would’ve identified the potential for injury.
Dreamworld’s parent company Ardent Leisure is being sued by the mother of an injured girl. Credit: AAP
“Our evidence is that there were no lifeguards in the splash down who responded to the injury area at the time, and that it was up to (the girl’s) mum to get her help for what was plainly a serious injury.
“As a result of the serious injury to her daughter and the ongoing trauma, and having to find help for her daughter on her own, Sarah has been diagnosed with PTSD and has chronic post-traumatic anxiety symptoms.
“This incident has had a profound impact on the family, and it’s likely it will take a great deal of time yet for them to recover.”
Ardent Leisure has been contacted for comment.
* Sarah’s last name and her daughter’s name have been withheld.