Investigations Into Suspected Legionnaires' Disease Death In Cockermouth, Cumbria

Water Supply At Flats In Cockermouth Tested For Legionnella Bacteria

09.02.2015

Dave Grimshaw, Press Officer | 0114 274 4397

The News and Star reports that investigations have begun into the death of William Hind, 83, from Cockermouth who died  on Sunday 1st February at the West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven after contracting what is believed to be Legionnaires’ disease.

Mr Hind lived at a block of flats for the over-55s on Bridge End Court, Wakefield Road, and tests have been carried out on the water supply in the building and a number of other possible sources by Allerdale Borough Council’s environmental health team and Public Health England.

Home Group, which owns the flats, said it had co-operated with public health investigators and also had appointed its own independent experts to test for the bacteria.  It has been reported that Home Group confirmed that their own tests  have ruled out the block of flats as the source of the bacteria. The results of the tests carried out by the Council and Public Health England are yet to be confirmed.

Law firm Irwin Mitchell has represented many victims of Legionnaires’ disease outbreaks both in the UK and abroad including a well-documented occurrence in Stoke in 2012. Specialist public health lawyers at the firm say they are concerned about the latest reports as Legionnaires’ disease can be particularly dangerous if contracted by vulnerable or elderly people.

Amandeep Dhillon, a Partner at Irwin Mitchell, said:

Expert Opinion
If Mr Hind’s death is confirmed to be Legionnaires’ disease then it is crucial that the source of the illness is identified as soon as possible to prevent more people from becoming ill. We are pleased to see investigations taking place at such an early stage and it is important that the results are confirmed quickly so that any problems identified can be resolved.

“Our thoughts are with Mr Hind’s family.

“We have seen from our work on previous outbreaks that the number of people falling ill can escalate quickly, if the source is not identified promptly. There is also a period of between two and 19 days after exposure to Legionella bacteria before the symptoms can begin. However, six to seven days is reported to be the most common time between contracting the infection and the onset of symptoms.”
Amandeep Dhillon, Partner

Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in Legionnaires' Disease claims.