Legal Action After Man Hospitalised By Legionnaires Disease After Greek Holiday

Specialist Travel Illness Lawyers Investigating Cause Of Serious Condition

23.06.2016

A retired couple are taking legal action after one of them was hospitalised with Legionnaires’ disease while on holiday in Greece.

David Townend, 69, began suffering from headaches, fever and was shivering during his stay at the Morfos Apartments, in Troulos, Greece, in May this year.

He had booked the break with his wife Diana, 63, via tour operator Thomas Cook but his illness gradually became worse throughout the holiday and after seeing his GP when he got home, he was referred to hospital where it was confirmed he was suffering from Legionnaires’ disease.

After spending five days in hospital David, from Chorley, Lancashire, has now instructed specialist travel illness lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate the cause of his Legionnaires’ disease while Environmental Health officials have also been in touch with him.

Legionnaires’ disease is a serious lung infection caused by Legionella bacteria and usually develops after breathing in small droplets of contaminated water.

David said: “At first I thought I’d just spent too much time in the sun but I was getting gradually worse all holiday and soon became really worried. The illness made everything such hard work and I quickly became very tired and started to suffer from headaches. I was in a hot country but I kept on shivering. I just did not know what was happening.

“My appetite reduced and I was only able to eat small amounts. I was not interested in doing anything and I just wanted to stay in the room.

“When I arrived back into the UK I felt awful. I was concerned for my health and so I went to see my GP and it was worrying when he admitted me to hospital. I felt tired constantly and did not know what was happening to me.

“I obviously didn’t go on holiday expecting to come back feeling terrible and needing hospital treatment. I just want to know what caused such a serious illness so that other people are not affected in future.”

Diana said “I was extremely worried about David. His condition worsened daily. On the day we were due to fly out, David became very confused and disoriented.

“We were concerned anyway about the water which always seemed to be cold in the mornings. The bathroom was not very clean. The taps and the toilets were dirty and the shower mat in the show tray was filthy.”

Amandeep Samra, an expert holiday illness lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, representing the couple, said:

Expert Opinion
“Legionnaires’ disease is very serious and can be fatal if contracted by vulnerable people. We have been instructed to investigate David’s illness to try and to determine what caused it.

“Although at present the root cause in this case is not yet known, the risks of Legionnaires’ disease have been known for many years and there are very strict guidelines in place for hotels to prevent the spread of the disease. They include maintaining hot and cold water within the correct temperature range and strict maintenance of any storage tanks containing water to prevent the transmission of the bacteria.

“If these guidelines are not followed, the effects of an outbreak can be devastating. Following cases of Legionnaires’ disease it is important that the root cause is identified as soon as possible to prevent further holidaymakers being affected.”
Amandeep Samra, Associate