Grieving Dad still fighting
SEVEN years after the devastating Grantham Floods, Danny McGuire is still fighting for justice for his wife and two children who were lost during the tragic events of January 10, 2011.
Mr McGuire's wife, Llync-Chiann Clarke-Jibson, and two of his three children, Gary and Jocelyn, were died when a wall of water inundated the Rural Fire truck they were attempting to escape in.
Mr McGuire has been fighting legal battles with the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services and WorkCover Queensland for years over compensation for his wife's death, claiming she was a volunteer fire fighter and on duty at the time of her death and should therefore be covered by WorkCover.
It seemed this fight had finally come to an end last year when WorkCover agreed to pay more than $450,000 in compensation - with most of this being placed in a trust account for his surviving son Zac.
But the QFES appealed this decision to the Workers' Compensation Regulator.
In a decision delivered to Mr McGuire last week, the regulator found in the fire service's favour - overturning the compensation claim.
Mr McGuire said despite how long it had gone on, he would continue to fight and intends to lodge an appeal with the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission.
"I will always appeal it because this is the seventh appeal... and this is just going back and forth,” he said.
In the reasons for its decision, the regulator noted inconsistencies with witness statements describing Ms Clarke-Jibson performing duties as a member of the rural fire brigade.
The regulator summarised their findings as "Ms Clarke-Jibson was not performing duties as a member of the rural fire brigade at the time of her death on 10 January 2011, and therefore Ms Clarke-Jibson was not covered by a volunteer contract of insurance between QFES and WorkCover.”
Mr McGuire believes that QFES continued battle against his compensation claim is due to fear of future legal action if Ms Clarke-Jibson was found to have been performing duties at the time of her death.
"That's what they're worrying about, they're just hoping that I'll back down.” Mr McGuire said.
QFES representatives declined to comment when contacted.