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Lorry Driver contracts Legionnaires Disease Whilst Working Abroad

Legionnaires disease from working abroad


A Lorry Driver from Warrington, who had been working across France and Spain, was admitted to hospital on his return to the UK after contracting Legionnaires disease whilst working abroad.

Philip Barlow (43) had arrived back in the UK on the 28th September 2006 after working for company called Trial-Out, delivering Frozen Foods on the continent. Two days after returning to the UK Mr Barlow began to feel unwell with severe tiredness and lethargy, by the Sunday morning Mr Barlow's condition had deteriorated.

Donna Mair (24), Mr Barlow's girlfriend, said:

Philip's condition deteriorated rapidly on the Sunday morning. Initially he kept stating that that he felt like the left side of his chest had collapsed and became increasingly short of breath. By Tuesday he was suffering with a serve cough and a high temperature.

"I took him to our GP, who gave him antibiotics. Philip's condition just got worse, he became delirious and suffered with severe vomiting and diarrhoea and could hardly breathe. He was rushed to hospital, I have never been so scared in my life, and it was heart-breaking to see him this way.

Miss Mair continued:

"Philip's condition continued to deteriorate in hospital and he slipped into a coma which lasted for nearly 3 weeks, I couldn't believe how fast it all happened."

Legionnaires disease solicitor comments

Clare Pearson who has advised Mr Barlow and is a member of the specialist Travel Litigation team at law firm Irwin Mitchell said:

Legionnaires disease is a very serious condition which can be fatal. Victims of the disease are often initially informed that they have a cough or chest infection. Like all overseas travellers, Lorry Drivers should be well aware of the risks when abroad and companies providing accommodation or shower facilities for lorry, coach or other drivers at service stations and elsewhere should ensure that appropriate procedures are in place to protect against this disease.

Ms Pearson added "This was a very traumatic experience for Mr Barlow and his family. Implementing basic health and safety procedures can reduce the risk of contracting Legionnaires disease in public facilities. We have acted for many victims of Legionnaires Disease and the families of those that have been killed by this condition. As well as lorry drivers working abroad we have also acted for coach drivers who have contracted Legionnaires disease while driving in Europe, and in France and Spain in particular. We hope that improved safeguards are brought in as soon as possible to avoid future infections with this potentially fatal condition."

Mr Barlow said "I can't believe that I contracted Legionnaires disease. This has been the most frightening experience of my life which has left me with memory loss and arthritis. One minute I was going about my normal working life, the next I am in a coma for nearly three weeks."

Legionnaires disease compensation claims

If you or someone you know has been affected by Legionnaires disease, at home or abroad, our solicitors may be able to help claim compensation. Fill in our online claims form for free advice.