The question is a stark and odd one, I know. However, it is one (unfortunately) which some of our clients at Cantillons have come to consider.
Legionnaires Disease is a potentially fatal form of pneumonia which is caused by the bacteria found in both environmental and purpose built water sources. This bacterium has come to be found in spa pools, water fountains and cooling and ventilation systems. Legionnaires Disease is a very serious disease and its occurrence is reportable to the HSE. Cantillons have been approached by people diagnosed with this disease and it has struck us that its very existence is unknown to most people. The initial symptoms can be innocent, flu- like systems which may be one reason for the lack of public knowledge of this deadly illness.
The Disease is a preventable one and employers and Spa owners have a duty of care to protect not only their work force but also people using their buildings, (this includes Spas and Hotels) from contracting Legionnaires. There is a raft of legislation and guidelines in existence which sets out the preventative measures that can be taken.
However, these measures are not always followed. In turn, people, oblivious to this unusual illness, develop colds/fever/pneumonia and are completely unaware as to the connection with their visit to a Spa.
If you have been affected or think you are affected, you should immediately report to your doctor. You should keep a note of where you visited over the past number of weeks, when your symptoms came on and what they were. The more detail, the better.
If you have been unfortunate enough to suffer Legionnaires Disease, you may be entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering and expenses, such as loss of earnings. Investigations will need to be carried out to identify your exposure, prove that it caused your illness/injury and that it was due to the negligence of the Spa owner.
Some publications suggest that the risk of Legionnaires increase in the summer months as the warmer temperatures and stagnant water make a cosy home for the bacteria to develop. At a time when people use spas, Jacuzzis, steams and water slides more frequently, the risk increases. Be more cautious about using these facilities, particularly if you are concerned about the cleanliness of the establishment. If you do begin to feel symptoms such as headache, aches/pains or fever, contact your doctor immediately.
Contact us at Cantillons Solicitors at +353 (0)21 -4275673 or [email protected] if you would like more information.
* In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.