A specialist in Legionnaires' disease has been appointed by personal injury solicitors representing the families of those affected by the 2012 outbreak of the water-borne illness in Edinburgh in the hope of identifying the source of the problem.
Thompsons Solicitors, Scotland's leading personal injury solicitor firm, hope that by doing so they will provide some answers for family members of the four people killed by the outbreak; while also paving the way to possible payments of compensation. The fatalities are included in the 56 confirmed cases of Legionnaires' disease - there were around 40 more possible but unconfirmed cases.
The Crown Office earlier ruled that there was not enough evidence to prosecute any person or firm over the deaths, while NHS Lothian recently stated that there were nine sites it had identified as being the possible source, with an industrial facility using wet cooling towers in the southwest of Edinburgh considered the most likely.
In the wake of the outbreak, MacFarlan Smith was visited by scientists nine times with a total of 49 samples taken, while North British Distillery was visited four times with 15 samples collected.
"It appears that the relevant authorities have attempted to wash their hands of this. We have now hired an expert with vast experience in this field to review the entire case with a view to determining a single source," Patrick McGuire, a partner with Thompsons told news outlets.
"More than three years have now passed, and it is a sad indictment of the system that it has gone on this long."
Unfortunately, both Thompsons and the other law firm representing claimants affected by the outbreak have faced frustration in obtaining important information from the relevant bodies, including the Crown Office, NHS Scotland, and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
It is thought that the Crown Office will soon decide whether it is going to hold a Fatal Accident Inquiry into the outbreak.
For information and advice about claiming compensation for an industrial disease or illness caused by negligence , contact Thompsons, the leading personal injury firm in Scotland, click here.