The families of victims of Legionnaires disease have begun legal action as a result of the outbreak in Staffordshire, which killed three and infected eighteen others.
Richard Griffin (64), William Hammersley (79) and Harry Cadman (71) all fell victim to the disease and died within a week of each other in August 2012. The source of the legionella bacteria was found to be the JFT Discount Warehouse in Stoke-on-Trent. Eighteen more people were admitted to hospital after showing symptoms of inhaling the fatal bacteria.
An investigation into the outbreak was launched, and it was revealed that a dirty hot tub that was on display in the shop was the source of the pathogenic bacteria. When the water in the hot tub was aerosolised, the victims consequently inhaled the bacteria.
The disease induces symptoms such as chills, fevers, coughing and headaches in those infected. In the case of the three fatalities of this outbreak, the disease quickly manifested itself as pneumonia and deteriorated into catastrophic organ failure.
Fourteen claims claimed compensation against the owners of the warehouse, thirteen of which were settled outside of court. The families of the three men that died are pursuing their claim for fatal Legionnaires disease outbreak through the courts.
Richard Griffin’s daughter has since issued a statement to the press, which read: “Nothing can ever bring our dad back but we just want to make sure justice is done and that there is some accountability for his death. I truly hope no one ever has to go through what we have.”
The defendants have admitted liability for the fatal outbreak of Legionnaires disease through JFT Warehouse’s public liability insurers. The settlement of compensation for a fatal outbreak of the bacteria will be decided at the court hearing.
Criminal charges are being considered for a fatal Legionnaires outbreak by the Crown Prosecution Service, but will be decided upon later this year when the result of the inquest into the deaths of the three men will be released.