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Public Health Lawyers Instructed To Investigate Following Care Home Resident's Suspected Legionnaires' Death

Family Calls For Answers So Brother’s Death Not In Vain

08.03.2018

Dave Grimshaw, Press Officer | 0114 274 4397

The devastated family of a man who died from suspected Legionnaires’ disease have instructed specialist Public Health lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate his death and the potential cause of the illness.

Andy Clegg, from Hampshire, died nearly two weeks after he was admitted to Salisbury District Hospital from Fordingbridge Care Home where he was a resident. He had been diagnosed with Legionella Pneumonia, a complication arising from the Legionella bacteria.

Following the 56-year-old’s death, Public Health England and the Care Quality Commission have launched an investigation, the findings of which have not yet been published.

Andy’s family have now asked lawyers in Irwin Mitchell’s specialist Public Health team to investigate the circumstances surrounding his death, and to help provide them with the answers they desperately seek.

The legal experts at Irwin Mitchell have vast experience of acting for thousands of victims of illness outbreaks in the UK and abroad, including successfully representing 17 people and three families of those who sadly lost their lives, who were affected by an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in Stoke-on-Trent in 2012 which was linked to a hot tub display feature. The firm also notably act for the family of Elaine Brown who sadly died from Legionnaires’ disease after staying at the Feathers Hotel in Ludlow last summer.

Expert Opinion
Andy’s family understandably remain angry at his death which they feel was avoidable.

“While the family appreciate that a thorough investigation has to take place, it is upsetting for them that more than four months after Andy’s death, they are still waiting for answers.

“They have many unanswered questions relating to Andy’s death and, following our instruction, we are determined to help them get the answers they deserve.

“Legionnaires’ disease is a serious illness which, as this case demonstrates, can have a huge impact on those who contract it. I would encourage anyone else who has been affected by illness at the Fordingbridge Care Home to see their GP at the earliest available opportunity. I would also like to speak with them as they may be able to help with our investigations.”
Jatinder Paul, Associate

Andy lived in Southampton but moved to Fordingbridge Care Home, near Salisbury, in April 2017 to receive help for mental health difficulties. The home is run by Sentinel Healthcare.

He was admitted to Salisbury General Hospital on 24 October, 2017, and was placed on a ventilator in intensive care on 26 October, 2017. He was transferred to a ward on 3 November but appeared to have respiratory difficulties. Andy died two days later.

Following his death Public Health England, the Care Quality Commission, Hampshire County Council and the Wiltshire and Swindon Coroner’s Court have launched investigations as to the source of Legionnaires’ disease bacteria that Andy contracted.

Andy’s sister Joanne Denyer, 54, of Southampton, said: “We looked after our brother for many years to the very best of our ability but last year the time had come for Andy to move into a home.

“Andy was such a loving and generous person and to see him in hospital in such pain and suffering was heart-breaking. The pain he suffered because of his illness is something that will stay with me for the rest of my life.

“Our family is now incomplete because of the death of my brother in such unnecessary circumstances.”

Andy’s brother, Matt, 47 also of Southampton, added: “Our family always did everything together and we have been left devastated and angry by Andy’s death.

“We feel we deserve to know more about how Andy contracted Legionnaires’ disease and if more could have been done to keep him safe.

“Our only hope now is that when we visit Andy’s grave, or when we miss him on birthdays and at Christmas, or see his face on photos, we know that lessons have been learned and that he helped save others from a similar fate, meaning his death may not have been completely in vain.”

Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in handling Public Health cases.