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Man Airlifted From Cruise Ship After Contracting Legionnaires Disease Receives Settlement

Our illness solicitors secured a five-figure settlement for a retired couple after one of them was airlifted to hospital when he contracted Legionnaires’ disease.

The MS Black Watch sailed from Southampton to the Cape Verde Islands but our client Frank began to suffer from headaches, a high temperature and tiredness only days into the cruise. His condition deteriorated as the cruise went on. 

The ship's doctors gave him antibiotics, but by the time the cruise reached Cape Verde his symptoms had worsened and he was taken to a hospital for a chest x-ray.

Frank returned to the ship after the x-ray, but continued to suffer severe symptoms and was taken to hospital in Las Palmas by hospital where he was admitted to intensive care and was unconscious for three weeks.

Tests confirmed he was suffering with Legionnaires’ disease, a very serious lung infection, which is usually caused by breathing in small droplets of water contaminated with legionella bacteria. He spent seven weeks in hospital in Las Palmas before being transferred to Sevenoaks Hospital in the UK, where he spent a further five weeks.

Our illness solicitors secured an undisclosed settlement for Frank and Patricia (his wife) just days before the case was due to go to trial. Frank, a former insurance broker, said: “I feel really lucky to be alive but the whole experience of the cruise, being airlifted from the ship and spending so much time in hospital was absolutely dreadful and really shook me up.

"Myself and Patricia did not get to enjoy our cruise and instead of being at home with my family over Christmas I was in hospital in a foreign country. The whole experience has been absolutely terrible for all of us. I’m delighted that we have now received a settlement from Fred Olsen and we’re looking forward to putting this behind us and moving on with our lives."

Patricia said: "It was absolutely terrifying to see Frank so ill on the cruise and rushed into intensive care in Las Palmas. Thankfully he pulled through, but I will never forget how scared all of the family was when he was in hospital."

Clare Pearson, the International Personal Injury expert who handled the case, said this: "Legionnaires’ disease is an extremely serious disease and can, in some cases, lead to fatalities. We are delighted to have secured Frank and Patricia a settlement from Fred Olsen Cruises but it is disappointing that the cruise operator denied liability and waited until just before the case was due to go to trial to agree to settle. 

Hopefully the couple can now put this horrendous ordeal behind them and look forward to the future."

If you have also suffered from Legionnaires Disease, or another serious disease while on holiday, we would like to hear from you. Either call us on 0370 1500 100 or fill in our contact form and we will call you back.

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