The West

Woollards to pay boat victim $250,000
Boat crash victim Kate Campbell. Picture: Bill Hatto/The West Australian

Boat crash victim Kate Campbell was crying tears of joy last night after learning that lawyers acting for politician Janet Woollard and her family had offered $250,000 to settle the damaging affair.

After almost five years of wrangling, the offer came late yesterday and took Ms Campbell and her lawyer John Hammond by surprise.

Both parties agreed to the settlement, which ends all legal action and comes with no conditions.

"I'm lost for words," Ms Campbell said. "I'm in a sense of disbelief and happiness."

The $250,000 is $20,000 more than the payment ordered by the District Court in March, after Ms Campbell sued Dr Woollard's son Luke - the driver of the boat that crashed in 2007 leaving the then 19-year-old with horrific injuries.

The saga took a controversial twist when Mr Woollard, who was drunk at the time of the Canning River crash, said he was unable to pay the money and was being forced into bankruptcy.

Last week, Dr Woollard - the independent MP for Alfred Cove - circulated a letter to her constituents saying she and her cardiologist husband Keith would not pay the money on behalf of their son.

They said they did not want to "reward" Ms Campbell's "strategy" of pursuing their 24-year-old son through the courts and in public. It prompted a scathing backlash from the public.

"It's such a weight off the rest of my life," Ms Campbell said. "All I've ever wanted to do is put this behind me. I can't express how grateful I am to all the people who have stood by me, to anyone who ever wrote a letter, I am so thankful."

Premier Colin Barnett yesterday joined the chorus of criticism against Dr Woollard over her letter, saying it was "unwise".

Mr Hammond said Ms Campbell had paid a "huge emotional and physical toll" recovering from the crash and in fighting for justice. <div class="endnote">


The West Australian

Popular videos