JTF payout £200k for Hot Tub Legionella Deaths

The Stoke on Trent Sentinel have reported that DIY chain JTF have paid out more than £200,000 in damages to the relatives of three men killed in a legionnaires’ disease outbreak.

Richard Griffin, William Hammersley and Harry Cadman all died after visiting the JTF warehouse, in Fenton, in summer 2012.

An investigation has found the ‘probable source’ of the outbreak came from a hot tub on display at the store.

Now the firm has paid out the damages to the victims’ relatives in an out-of-court settlement.

It comes after the firm had already handed out a total of £100,000 to 13 other people who were taken ill after shopping at the business.

Families of the three victims have welcomed the settlement of the case without them having to goto court.

Van driver Mr Griffin, aged 64, was regularly delivering meat to JTF when he was struck down by the deadly bug. The Stoke City fan, from Clayton, died in hospital from multiple organ failure.

Daughter Rachel Griffin, aged 46, said: “We’re relieved the legal case has concluded without the need for a court battle. We now hope there is progress with the possible criminal prosecution and the inquest so we can begin to move on with our lives.”

Father-of-two Mr Griffin died on August 2, 2012, after spending a week in hospital.

Grandfather-of-two Mr Hammersley, aged 79, of Chesterton, died on August 4, 2012, followed by 71-year-old Mr Cadman, from Stoke-on-Trent, days later.

The payout by JTF – which has admitted civil liability – includes the cost of people’s ‘pain and suffering, lost earnings and care’.

Irwin Mitchell lawyer Amandeep Dhillon said: “We are pleased to have finally concluded these cases allowing those families affected to begin to move on with their lives.

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

“It’s important lessons are learned from this incident to ensure that the risk of any similar outbreak is reduced.”

The Crown Prosecution Service is still considering whether to bring criminal charges against the firm.

The next pre-inquest review for the three men will be held on September 30.