West Midlands Man In Successful Legionnaires Disease Claim

Illness On Holiday In Tenerife

26.01.2009

A man from Smethwick in the West Midlands has made a successful legionnaires disease claim after contracting the disease on holiday in Tenerife.

David Higgs travelled to the Orlando Club Resort in Playa De Las Americas with his wife and two children.

On the family’s first day at the resort Mr Higgs noticed that the shower in their apartment was lukewarm and often went cold. He also noticed discoloured water coming from the bath taps.

Mr Higgs woke up with backache on the second day of the holiday. He took painkillers but as the day went on he began to feel extremely tired and was suffering headaches.

Mr Higgs’s symptoms worsened and he began to suffer vomiting, diarrhoea, high fever and hallucinations.

A local doctor diagnosed gastric illness and gave Mr Higgs medication. However, he then began to suffer respiratory problems.

The family wanted to fly back to the UK early but couldn’t afford an earlier flight so had to stay in Tenerife for the full week.

After four days back in the UK Mr Higgs was admitted to Sandwell Hospital and diagnosed with Legionnaires Disease.

Mr Higgs was in hospital for a week and even after leaving hospital he continued to suffer breathlessness for some time. He also became obsessed with cleanliness but spent two years unable to shower as he associated showering with dirty shower water at the hotel.

Mr Higgs had to have therapy to help him deal with the issues that arose out of his illness.

First Choice, the tour operator, has admitted liability for the illness after they were compelled to disclose documents about hotel procedures. Mr Higgs has received an undisclosed out of court compensation settlement.

Philip Banks, an expert in illness abroad claims represented Mr Higgs and said: “Legionnaires disease is an extremely serious and often fatal condition and although David has thankfully made a good recovery, he is lucky to be alive, particularly as his illness was not promptly diagnosed and went untreated until his return to the UK.

“Unfortunately over the years we have dealt with many cases of Legionnaires Disease and the common factor in virtually all of them is that they could easily have been prevented if appropriate health and hygiene systems had been put in place.”