Edinburgh Man Struck By City-Wide Legionnaires Outbreak Demands Truth

Frustrated Victim Instructs Legal Specialists For Help


An Edinburgh man left housebound after falling victim to the Legionnaires outbreak which has devastated the city over the past week has revealed his anger and determination to discover why it happened after instructing specialist illness lawyers to help.

One of 41 people in the city confirmed to have been affected, Terry Holleran has suffered symptoms including aches and pains, tiredness and breathlessness and also received treatment in the capital’s Western General Hospital before doctors decided that damage to his immune system meant he would be safer if sent home.

The 55-year-old from the Saughton Mains area of Edinburgh lives close to the North British Distillery on Wheatfield Road, which has been served with an improvement notice by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for allegedly failing to control the risk of legionella bacteria in a cooling tower. The distillery has been given until 29th June to prove it has the necessary controls in place.

Pharmaceutical firm Mcfarlan Smith has also been served improvement notices, while investigations into other companies are ongoing.

Terry has now instructed illness specialists at Irwin Mitchell, who have vast expertise in handling claims related to legionnaires’ outbreaks both in the UK and abroad, to help him find out how the outbreak occurred and what can be done to prevent it from happening again. Irwin Mitchell’s experienced illness specialists also act for the families of four holidaymakers following the outbreak of the illness at the Diamante Beach Hotel on the Costa Blanca in December 2011 and January 2012.

Elaine Russell, a Partner at the firm’s Glasgow office who specialises in illness claims, said: “Our client’s experience highlights the huge impact that this terrible outbreak is having on so many people across Edinburgh and the continuing need for authorities to quickly and thoroughly investigate every possible source.

“Through our work acting for dozens of victims who have contracted Legionnaires both in the UK and in holiday resorts and hotels abroad, we have seen how this potentially fatal disease can not only impact on peoples’ lives in the short term but also leave them with long-term health problems.

“We are determined, for the sake of our clients and all of those affected by these problems, to discover what went wrong and will seek assurances from the authorities ensure that there will be improvements in controlling the risk of illness to prevent something of this scale from being repeated in the future.”

Terry Holleran fell ill with symptoms of Legionnaires disease on June 5th and quickly sought medical advice at Western General Hospital. He was then discharged on June 10th, when doctors gave him antibiotics and advised that damage to his immune system meant he would be safer at home rather than run the risk of contracting other viruses within the hospital.

He comments: “It has been one of the worst weeks of my life. I’m just so angry about the whole thing and want to know what went wrong to cause the outbreak.

“I’ve been stuck in a hospital bed and then housebound and I want to know why, as well as how it could have been avoided and what is going to be done to stop this from ever happening again.

“Too many people have been affected by this and it is time that we all got some answers.”

Elaine Russell adds: “While the fundamental concern of authorities remains identifying the source of this outbreak as the number of confirmed or suspected cases rises, attention quickly needs to turn to providing reassurances over how such outbreaks can be avoided.

“Investigations have already revealed some concerns about specific sites so it is vital that lessons are learned from the outbreak to ensure that overall safety is comprehensively improved.”