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Lawyers are urging Hillcrest Primary School eyewitnesses to come forward

Written by Javed Iqbal

The law firm, which represents two families affected by the Hillcrest Primary School tragedy, is urging witnesses to come forward as personal injury lawyers seek an explanation for what went so wrong.

Last December, the Devonport community was shaken off death of six primary school students when their bouncy castle was lifted into the air by strong winds, causing the children to fall from a height of 10 meters.

Sydney law firm Stacks Goudkamp said they had contacted the Department of Education and the bouncy castle operators in an attempt to investigate the case, but they had not received any information.

Stacks Goudkamp’s CEO Tom Goudkamp said this kind of tragedy did not just happen.

“I do not understand why a bouncy castle should suddenly be shot 10 meters in the air with children on. Fountains are supposed to be properly attached to the ground,” he said.

Lawyer outlines two legal aspects

Sir. Goudkamp said he had been in contact with the Department of Education and the operators of the bouncy castle, but that he had not yet received any information.

“I’m still looking to interview eyewitnesses to the accident because all I know is what I’ve read in the newspapers, heard on the radio and seen on television,” he said.

“We are awaiting the coronary trial, which is scheduled for later this year.

Goudkamp said there were two legal aspects to the case.

“It is by proving negligence on the part of a company or a person by not securing the bouncy castle in a proper way.

“If it is established, the children or the families of the children will be entitled to compensation because there has been a breach of the duty of care.”

He said the liability aspect of the case would not take too long due to the coronary investigation, but the size of the damages could take several years for the families of the children who survived the incident.

“Compensation in Australia is paid in a lump sum on a once-for-all basis.”

Two police officers sitting on the ground are leaning against each other.
The Devonport community was shocked by the deaths of six elementary school students.(ABC News: Monte Bovill)

Joint public inquiry into all six deaths

More than six months after, Evidence of the incident is still being collectedwith forensic scientist Olivia McTaggart overseeing the investigation.

“A very large amount of investigative work has already taken place where the forensic pathologist has held regular meetings with members of the investigative teams,” according to a statement from the state’s Coronial Division.

Evidence from WorkSafe Tasmania, focusing on the jumping castle business, equipment and setup involved, was to be received shortly.

“Once the evidence in the investigation is complete, the forensic pathologist will consider retaining relevant experts,” the statement said.

Reports from experts on the weather conditions of the day as well as a report from an engineer or scientific expert will then likely be obtained.

“It is hoped that all evidence, including all necessary expert opinions, will be received within the coming months,” the statement said.

Blue plastic hangs from a tree with debris scattered beneath it.
Waste in a tree at Hillcrest Primary School in Devonport following a fatal bouncy castle incident on December 16, 2021.(ABC News: Monte Bovill)

Goudkamp said he could hardly imagine a more horrific accident.

“I hope people get better. I hope people do well,” he said.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Education said that because a coronal inquiry and a WorkSafe inquiry were underway, the government was unable to answer specific questions regarding the incident.

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Javed Iqbal

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