Family of Cartlon Colville man who ran Southwold service station to sue over holiday death

THE family of a Carlton Colville man who died after catching Legionnaires disease are suing a Scottish hotel for more than �800,000.

The family of Edward Warnes, who used to run Southwold Service Station, say they are seeking the money after suffering loss and damage as a result of his death.

However, the firm that runs the hotel has signalled it will be contesting the action.

In March, The Journal reported how Mr Warnes died in 2008 after being exposed to legionella bacteria in a shower and hot tub at the Piperdam Golf and Leisure resort, near Dundee, just before his 60th birthday.

Mr Warnes and nine of his family – including a young grandchild aged just three – were exposed to the deadly bug in their lodge and, after returning home to Suffolk, he was taken seriously ill.

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Instead of celebrating at a surprise party for Mr Warnes, his family spent his birthday at the James Paget University Hospital keeping a bedside vigil after he fell into a coma. Within 28 hours of the diagnosis, his family made the heart-wrenching decision to switch off his life-support machine on April 11, 2008.

Almost three years later, the Piperdam resort was fined �120,000 at Forfar Sheriff Court in March after it pleaded guilty to breaches of health-and-safety legislation over the outbreak.

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And on Wednesday this week, Mr Warnes' partner Rosemary Powell – who was herself exposed to the legionella bacteria during their stay – and his daughters Emma Warnes, 40, and April Bunn, 36, were told their case will be heard by a jury at the Court of Session in Edinburgh.

The family maintain that, due to the firm's failures, they have suffered loss and damage.

Ms Powell, who had been together with Mr Warnes since 1988, claims she has been deprived of his personal company, and lost the financial support and services he provided such as decorating, gardening and DIY. She also alleges that as a result of exposure to legionella bacteria she developed Pontiac fever, which causes flu-like symptoms.

Piperdam maintains it is not liable for reparation to the family members over the death and claims that the sums sued for are excessive.

In October 2004, Mr Warnes was general manager of the Southwold Service Station when it went into voluntary liquidation amid competition from supermarkets.

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