THE family of an 11-year-old Perth girl who suffered a catastrophic brain injury from a severe electric shock at their public housing property is suing the State Government for the cost of her care.
Denishar Woods was shocked with up to 230 volts AC when she touched a garden tap at the Beldon property in March.
One week later, she defied the odds by being able to breathe on her own after being taken off a ventilator.
She then began opening her eyes in response to voices and spoke her first word – “mum”.
Doctors predicted she would remain in a vegetative state.
They now say Denishar, who is incontinent and wheelchair-bound, can be moved from hospital to her family home.
“She’s exceeding expectations but still her life is effectively destroyed by what happened to her,” Stewart Levitt, senior partner at Sydney-based Levitt Robinson Solicitors, told 6PR radio on Monday.
“She needs massive support because she’s not able to do anything for herself. She needs every kind of support that’s imaginable.
“She’s basically been denied every joy that life has to offer other than the love of her mother and immediate family.
“She obviously has a very substantial claim against the Department of Housing.”
Mr Levitt said social worker Gerry Georgatos would represent the family in talks this week with the office of Housing Minister Peter Tinley to see if an ex gratia payment could be paid.
The lawyer said he believed a settlement could be reached as it was an “open and shut” case.
“I’d be very amazed if, given the flagrancy of the negligence in this instance whether it would be necessary to fully prosecute litigation,” Mr Levitt said.
An EnergySafety investigation is underway into the incident and director Michael Bunko has already said he believes the tragedy was likely caused by a fault in the neutral conductor supplying power to the property.