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Golden Coast
LATEST NEWS
JTFFenton2
DIY Warehouse Being Sued Over Hot Tub Legionnaires' Disease Deaths
A DIY chain is being sued over the deaths of three people who contracted Legionnaires' Disease from a hot tub in the showroom of one of its stores.

The product was on display in the Fenton branch of JTF Warehouse in Stoke-on-Trent.
Richard Griffin, William Hammersley and Harry Cadman all died in 2012 after catching Legionnaires' disease with the outbreak hospitalising over 20 people. A Health Protection Agency (HPA) report concluded that the hot tub at JTF Warehouse was the probable source.

A number of claims for compensation have already been settled out of court, but now the families of the three men who died and one of the survivors have hired law firm Irwin Mitchell to issue formal court proceedings against JTF.

JTF's insurers have already admitted civil liability on behalf of JTF for causing the outbreak of the lung disease.

Representing the victims' families, Amandeep Dhillon of Irwin Mitchell said: "This was a fatal outbreak of Legionnaires' Disease caused by problems with a hot tub that was on public display at the JTF premises in Stoke-on-Trent.

"There are strict controls designed to reduce the risk of legionella contamination, but sadly all of those who contracted this dreadful condition were badly let down by JTF.

"While we are pleased to have settled the majority of our clients' cases out of court, we have now issued court proceedings to ensure that justice is done for our clients and that they receive the full and fair settlements that they are entitled to.

"Some of the families we represent who lost their relatives after contracting Legionnaires' Disease have been left devastated.

"We want to resolve all of the outstanding cases quickly and fairly, hence we have now issued court proceedings on behalf of our clients."

It is also possible that criminal charges may be brought against JTF.

The report from the HPA which was covered in the June 2013 edition of SPN The report said: "This was a significant outbreak and has raised questions on the acceptability of operating spa pools (also known as whirl pools and hot tubs) in public places where the general population has access.

"Spa Pools are known to pose a risk of Legionella if water systems are not rigorously maintained, properly managed and subject to regular chemical controls.

"Operating spa pools on display in indoor spaces, even if not used for bathing, have been previously shown to be the cause of outbreaks in other countries," the report added.

The news has prompted a number of organisations to again highlight the dangers of poor procedures. These include the Association of Plumbing and Heating Contractors (APHC) who reminded businesses and landlords to ensure they are meeting regulations to prevent an outbreak of Legionnaires’ Disease.

John Thompson, Chief Executive of APHC, commented: "This case has showed how deadly Legionnaires’ can be, and how quickly the disease spreads to people not in direct contact with the infected water. We offer a dedicated scheme to give business owners reassurance that they are employing a competent, professional with a detailed knowledge of this specialised area. Organisations and landlords simply cannot take the risk of an outbreak."





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