Reports Other Guests Who Stayed at Sunny Beach Resort Also Contracted Disease
The grieving relatives of a British man who died after he contracted Legionnaires' disease following a holiday in Bulgaria have instructed specialist lawyers to investigate.
Brian Taylor, from Huddersfield, was admitted to hospital with flu-like symptoms shortly after his return from a weeks’ break at Hotel Kalofer in Sunny Beach.
He was diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease. However, Brian, of Oakes, Huddersfield, died nearly a month after he was admitted.
Following the 75-year-old’s death his family, including stepson Martin Farrell, instructed expert Irwin Mitchell’s specialist international personal injury team to investigate whether Brian’s illness was linked to his stay at the hotel in June.
Jet2 Holidays, Brian’s tour operator, has revealed that it has been informed by the European Legionnaires’ Disease Surveillance Network that there have been four reported cases of Legionnaires’ disease potentially associated with the Hotel Kalofer.
Irwin Mitchell has also been instructed by another man who was diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease after also staying at the Hotel Kalofer in June. His tour operator was also Jet2Holidays.
The firm has vast experience of dealing with cases relating to Legionnaires’ disease in the UK and abroad including representing the victims of the Stoke-on-Trent and Edinburgh Legionnaires’ disease outbreaks in 2012.
Expert Opinion“All of Brian’s family are understandably heart-broken by their loss and are struggling to come to terms with what happened.
“Through our work we are sadly only too aware of the devastating consequences of Legionnaires’ disease and nothing highlights this more than Brian’s death.
“We are now investigating how Brian contracted his illness and looking into his stay at the Hotel Kalofer. It is extremely worrying that other guests who stayed at the same hotel have also contracted this potentially fatal infection.
“Following an outbreak of Legionnaires disease it is vital that the source is identified as soon as possible. If any members of the public start experiencing any of the symptoms it is crucial that they seek immediate medical advice.
“In addition, we would be interested in speaking to anyone who has any information regarding the standards at the Hotel Kalofer as they may be able to assist us with our investigations.” Jatinder Paul - Senior Associate Solicitor
Find out more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in Legionnaires' disease cases
Brian went on holiday alone on 10 June. His wife of 41 years, Nancy Sykes-Taylor, 84, has dementia and is in a care home.
Brian returned on Monday, 17 June. Two days later, Martin 58, went to stay with his stepdad, as he did each Wednesday. By this point Brian had developed flu-like symptoms and a high temperature and was shaking as if he was bitterly cold.
Martin travelled back home to Chesterfield the following day but called his stepdad to check in on him later that night. Brian continued to sound unwell but had been to see his GP who prescribed him with antibiotics.
Martin called Brian around tea time on 21 June to see if he was feeling any better, but he sounded worse, so Martin asked his son who lives locally to Brian to call round.
In that time, Brian had collapsed and was taken to Royal Calderdale Hospital by ambulance. Brian was transferred to the intensive care unit where he spent 25 days.
The initial diagnosis given to Brian was pneumonia, a collapsed lung and sepsis but he was later diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease on 24 June. His condition appeared to start improving but he sadly passed away on 17 July.
Martin said: “Brian was very independent; he loved bowling and walking to and from the local club every Saturday. He loved mum dearly and would go and visit her every day. There was nothing that would stop him from visiting. On the Friday he got the car out of the garage to go visit mum but couldn’t go as he was so unwell.
“Before his holiday he was fighting fit but when I saw him on the Wednesday after he got back he looked awful. He was shaking and had a temperature and he didn’t talk much about his holiday.”
Martin, of Chesterfield, added: “When he collapsed and was admitted to hospital we couldn’t believe it. He had to be sedated and it was awful to see him like that in the intensive care unit.
“We thought he was turning a corner at one point but then the unimaginable happened. It was a complete shock to us all.”
Brian’s stepdaughter Lorraine Williams, 54, added: “We cannot believe what has happened. One minute Brian was going on holiday and then the next he had passed.
“Brian was a wonderful man who would do anything for his family. We are heartbroken at how he died and the fact that he never got to say goodbye to mum.
“We cannot thank the hospital staff enough for the care they gave Brian. However, we have so many concerns about what happened on his holiday and if more should have done to prevent his illness.
“We couldn’t believe it when we were told that others who stayed at the same hotel had also tested positive for Legionnaires.
“Nothing can make up for Brian’s death but we need to know what happened.”
The second man who instructed Irwin Mitchell stayed at the Hotel Kalofer with his wife between 4 and 11 June. He started to feel unwell on the last day of his holiday.
On return to the UK he was admitted to hospital where he was placed in an induced coma in intensive care. The man was diagnosed with Legionnaire’s, pneumonia and sepsis.
He has been discharged. However, it is still unclear how long his recovery will take.