The family of a teenager who died at Albany Hospital after being admitted for tonsillitis are preparing to abandon court action against the State Government in the hope of reaching an out-of-court settlement for compensation early this year.
Jim Watmore and his family have been locked in a 2½-year battle for compensation over 17-year-old Kieran Watmore's death in August 2008, with the family's lawyer Carmelo Grasso revealing yesterday that he had written to the State Government indicating plans to withdraw a District Court writ.
Mr Grasso said the stress of the protracted legal battle had taken its toll on Kieran's grieving family and they now hoped the matter could be resolved in good faith.
"We're relying on the undertakings of the Government, the ministers and the public servants to see if they're going to own up to giving them compensation rather than just saying sorry," Mr Grasso said.
Mr Watmore said yesterday the family wanted an acknowledgment that his son "was innocent and blameless in his death and others were responsible".
State Coroner Alastair Hope called Kieran's death preventable, declaring systematic deficiencies and a failure by nursing staff led to the tragedy.
"It's been distressing, disappointing and frustrating," Mr Watmore said. "Apart from the financial burden placed on our family, there's been a huge emotional rollercoaster for all of us."
Health Minister Kim Hames said he was mindful of the Watmore family's desire to have the matter resolved as quickly as possible.
"I have been advised the Health Department is continuing to work towards a meaningful outcome," he said yesterday.
Mr Watmore said the pain of losing Kieran had not subsided and Christmas had been especially difficult.
Mr Watmore said he hoped his family would finally be able to move forward with their lives before the State election in March.
Shadow health minister Roger Cook said he was staggered at what the family had been put through and asked why the Government was taking so long to resolve matters.