Lawyers Hope NHS Report Is A Starting Point For More Information Into Fatal Outbreak
By Dave Grimshaw
Lawyers representing over 35 victims of the fatal Edinburgh Legionnaires’ outbreak last year say they hope an NHS Lothian report published today is the start of more information being shared about how the incident has been handled.
Law firm Irwin Mitchell is representing families of people who lost their lives in the tragedy as well as many of the victims who are still suffering from longer term symptoms of Legionnaires’ Disease such as breathing difficulties and a loss of energy.
NHS Lothian has today (23 July 2013) published an interim report outlining some of the steps it took in dealing with those affected but lawyers say it has still left unanswered questions.
Elaine Russell, a specialist lawyer at Irwin Mitchell representing the victims of Legionnaires’ disease, said: “The Edinburgh community deserves answers about why this outbreak happened and who is responsible. Elements of investigation are ongoing but there is still new information being revealed over a year after the outbreak began and our clients still have so many unanswered questions.
“The interim NHS Lothian report shows the significant cost of dealing with those that were affected and if there were failings in terms of control prior to the outbreak then it is important that there is accountability given the cost in terms of money to the public and the costs to the families we represent.
“While this was clearly stated as an interim report, it is imperative that the further investigations and full reports are completed as soon as possible to prevent ever longer delays in identifying once and for all what went wrong and why. There is a sense among those affected and their families that they are not being told everything and we are fighting on their behalf for information to be released.
“At Irwin Mitchell we have already commissioned our own experts to find the source of the outbreak as the authorities have so far just not provided enough information to those that have been affected.”
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