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£27,000 for Legionnaires’ Infection at the Holiday Village in Rhodes

Simpson Millar have a dedicated department of travel lawyers that help people claim compensation when they suffer from injury and illness infections whilst on overseas holidays.

The reason we are able to help people is because the tour operator has a responsibility to ensure the holidays they feature are safe, even if they do not own the hotels they sell as part of package holidays.

In this instance we were able to help a client from Cornwall that suffered from an infection called Legionella during a holiday to the Greek Island of Rhodes with First Choice Holidays.

Legionnaires Disease contracted after “Special Holiday”

During his journey back to the UK, our client was taken ill with symptoms which included backache, breathing difficulties, headaches and body aches.

Upon his arrival home he suffered further symptoms which were latterly to be diagnosed as kidney failure.

He was admitted to a local hospital, before being transferred to a specialist unit for further treatment and kidney dialysis after his condition deteriorated. After admission to an intensive care unit, he was placed on life support (ECMO) and diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease.

He was not well enough to return home for around 6 weeks and when he did, his wife had to care for him and help him in all aspects of daily life. Our client was unable to return to work for around 5 months and could only initially return on a part-time basis.

He also suffered flashbacks, nightmares, anxiety and feelings of dislocation from his previous life, as well as loss of concentration.

Claiming Compensation for Legionnaires’ Disease

Legionnaires’ Disease is a droplet infection transmitted in water contaminated with Legionella bacteria. This can occur as a result of poorly maintained air conditioning units, flues, showerheads and water coolers.

Proving that the hotel is responsible for Legionnaires Disease can be very difficult because the time taken between contracting the infection and the symptoms starting can be between 2 and 10 days. In this case our client was only on a 7 day holiday so it is possible that the infection was contracted before the holiday started.

It is also possible to contract the infection simply by walking past an air-conditioning unit or using a poorly maintained public toilet.

Under the 1992 Package Travel Regulations, tour operators like First Choice have a legal duty to ensure that holidaymakers do not become ill as a result of poor maintenance and lapses in health and safety at hotels they stay at on package holidays.

First Choice Admit Liability for Legionella

While our client was in hospital his wife contacted us to find out whether we would be able to help her with her husband’s claim.

Paul Stevens, Group Holiday Claims Manager at Simpson Millar, was able to speak with our client once he was out of hospital and agreed to take on his Legionnaires Claim on a no win no fee funding basis.

Paul meticulously prepared the case as well as drafting wider allegations relating to First Choice’s health and safety responsibilities, more specific allegations relating to proper chemical use were also made.

Under pressure from Simpson Millar, the tour operator admitted liability for our client’s illness on provision of evidence supporting this.

Holiday Maker was “Lucky to Recover from Life Threatening Illness”

In order to support our client’s claim we obtained the expert opinion of a consultant respiratory physician, who confirmed that our client had suffered a life-threatening episode of Legionnaires' disease which had required hospital admission to treat organ failure, as well as dialysis.

At the time of the medical report, our client was still found to be suffering from physical and psychological symptoms. The medical expert advised that his physical symptoms should improve within 6 months, with any psychological symptoms resolving within 12 months of the date of the examination. He added that a claim for care and assistance and time absent from work was “entirely reasonable”. He also advised that our client should obtain a report from a consultant psychiatrist and our specialist holiday claims team arranged this.

Holiday Hotel Watch

This report confirmed that our client had developed post-traumatic stress disorder arising out of the Legionnaires disease and at the time of the examination was still experiencing symptoms associated with this condition.

Compensation for Legionnaires’ Disease Contracted on Holiday

Simpson Millar sent the medical reports and details of our client’s claim to the tour operator, including compensation for loss of earnings for relatives, out-of- pocket expenses, hotel costs, care and assistance and other items.

After some tough negotiating, TUI agreed to pay our client £27,000 in compensation.

As our client’s case had been accepted on a no win no fee basis, he was able to keep 100% of his compensation to help him rebuild his life, while his legal fees were paid by the other side.

The case followed on from a claim for Legionnaires Disease against Thomas Cook in which the court awarded £12,500 in compensation for the Legionella contracted in Egypt.

Contact Simpson Millar Today for help with Holiday Infections

If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with Legionnaires’ following a package holiday, contact Simpson Millar’s friendly expert travel claims team by phone, or complete the enquiry form. We will then be in contact with you to arrange free consultation about how we can help you with your claim and how much your claim could be worth.

Simpson Millar has offices all over the country and we have helped people claim compensation for holidays ruined by illness infections in Greece, Spain, Egypt, Turkey, The Dominican Republic and Mexico.

Date: 15/05/2013