Group Of Holidaymakers Taking Legal Action After Fatal Legionnaires' Disease Outbreak In Ibiza

Lawyers Call For Investigations To Identify Source Of Illness As Soon As Possible


Andrew Robinson, Press Officer | 0113 218 6463
A group of holidaymakers are taking legal action after their two-week break at the C’an Sanso Apartments in Santa Eulalia, Ibiza was ruined by an outbreak of Legionnaires’ Disease.

Media reports in October 2014 revealed that one Briton had died at the resort after reportedly contracting Legionnaires’ Disease. Others who suffered from the illness at a similar time have now instructed specialist international personal injury lawyers, Irwin Mitchell, to investigate the cause of their condition.

Philip Cox, 59, and his wife Karen, 55, from Teignmouth, Devon, visited the apartments in September 2014 for a two-week stay, along with Mr Cox’s sister and her partner.
Prior to the group flying home, Mr Cox fell ill, suffering with diarrhoea, a fever, shortness of breath and nausea. When he returned to the UK he visited his local GP and the next day he was admitted to hospital, where he was diagnosed with Legionnaires’ Disease and placed on an IV drip. He stayed in hospital for five days and was then discharged. Mr Cox was absent from work for 5 weeks.  His sister’s partner also suffered an unconfirmed illness whilst staying at the apartments and was prescribed medicine at a clinic in Ibiza.

Since returning to the UK, Mr Cox discovered that Lynne Balaam, from Cardiff, who stayed at the same C’an Sanso Apartments, died in hospital in Spain after reportedly contracting Legionnaires’ Disease, although Thomson Holidays have previously claimed that there is no clear link between the illness that caused Ms Balaam's death and water contamination at the C’an Sanso apartments. It is however clear that the apartments were closed some days after Ms Balaam tested positive for Legionella.

Mr Cox and his wife say that they were originally told by Thomson Holidays that his illness was an isolated case and that they would not be investigating the cause further, however since his illness and the death of Ms Balaam, guests due to stay at the apartments have been relocated to alternative accommodation.

Amandeep Dhillon, an expert international personal injury lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, representing the holidaymakers, said: 
Expert Opinion
Legionnaires Disease is a very serious illness and can be fatal in some cases due to the respiratory complications it can cause. The immediate priorities now are ensuring anyone affected receives the help and support they need as well as identifying the cause of the illness as soon as possible.

“We have acted in several previous outbreaks of Legionnaires Disease. Our work on behalf of victims of fatal outbreaks at the Diamante Beach Hotel in Calpe, Spain where sadly four victims died with many others left fighting for their lives, as well as closer to home in both Edinburgh and Stoke-on-Trent in recent years, means we have seen first-hand the devastating impact Legionnaires Disease can have on victims.

"The seriousness of such illnesses cannot be underestimated and it is vital that public health authorities in Spain, and the hotel management work to quickly to locate the source of these problems and provide holidaymakers with the answers they deserve. We shall be working closely with our Spanish colleagues to investigate this outbreak and establish the level of investigations that have to date been made by the Spanish authorities. On the basis of the information we have at the moment, any legal proceedings would be pursued in England.

“As we conduct our investigations we ask anyone who has stayed at the C’an Sanso Apartments and may be able to help provide information about the conditions, to get in contact with us as they may be able to help with the case.”
Amandeep Dhillon, Partner

Mr Cox  said: “The whole experience was extremely scary for myself, my wife and my children, as well as my grandchildren, as my symptoms quickly got worse when I got home and I ended up on oxygen and a drip in hospital. It’s the last thing which you expect when you go on holiday. It was frightening to find out that another holidaymaker at C’an Sanso Apartments had died after contracting the same illness that I had suffered.

“I was very frustrated that the tour operator told me my illness was an isolated case and that they would not be investigating further. I was extremely concerned that other people staying at the resort would not be aware of the issues. During our stay we noticed algae in the swimming pool and we felt the pool didn’t appear to be cleaned correctly. There was also a problem with the water in the apartment as the shower would run hot and cold.

“I am very lucky that I received the correct diagnosis and treatment so quickly, but I was still forced to take time off work. Hopefully, my legal team’s investigations will lead to answers about why I contracted Legionnaires’ Disease and help to ensure others do not have to go through the same experience I have endured.”