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Travel Company Denies Health and Safety Breaches after Legionnaires’ Death

The travel company has pleaded not guilty at Preston Crown Court to two alleged breaches of health and safety, after a holidaymaker contracted Legionnaires’ Disease at the Holiday Centre and subsequently died.

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In July 2009, 53-year-old woman stayed at the holiday camp, where in March of the same year another holidaymaker had contracted Legionnaires’ Disease.

After complaining that the shower was not hot enough, the woman developed a Legionnella infection and became ill after she returned home to Northfields in Birmingham. She was placed on a ventilator at Selly Oak Hospital and Legionnaires’ Disease was diagnosed, but she went on to develop pneumonia and died on 29 August 2009.

An investigation by environmental health officers pinpointed a boiler serving the chalet, the temperature of which would have enabled bacteria to thrive.

Another holidaymaker – Margaret Coote from Chesterfield – had contracted Legionnaires’ Disease from the chalet’s bath prior to this incident, but survived.

After Mrs Coote’s illness – during which she suffered a heart attack – the management at the travel company had reassured environmental health officers that action would be taken regarding the boiler, but the problem was not rectified by the time the woman stayed in the chalet – and no action was taken when she complained about the temperature of the water in the chalet’s shower.

Prosecuting counsel Simon Parrington at Preston Crown Court said that the woman and others had been “exposed to risk” as the result of “very serious failures” while staying at the Holiday Centre, which has since been demolished.

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Mr Parrington told the court:

“It is the Crown's case that there were very serious failures on behalf of the travel company – as a result, were exposed to risk of their health and safety.”

The Holiday Centre was shut in October 2009 and the company running it went into administration in 2010

The case continues.

Dated: 10/04/2012

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