By Staff writer
Two guests staying at Westin Mina Seyahi claim they caught legionnaires disease at the property
Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide is facing a $16.7m (AED61.3m) lawsuit in the US after two guests staying at the Westin Mina Seyahi in Dubai claim they caught legionnaires disease at the property.
The suit claims that Thomas Boyle, from Britain, and Elodie Nogues, from France, contracted the disease after staying at the Westin in January and February of 2009, according to a report in The National.
It claims the health of the pair deteriorated rapidly and resulted in hospital stays.
The disease is a form of pneumonia spread through airborne water droplets, which thrives in water and air-conditioning systems.
Boyle arrived at the Westin with his family on December, 2008, and left several days later, on January 6, 2009.
On his return to the UK, the suit says he developed flu-like symptoms and his health deteriorated rapidly.
He then spent a fortnight in a UK hospital having been diagnosed with the disease.
The paper reported that Nogues started to feel weak and feverish two days after checking into the hotel with her son and a friend on February 14. With her health deteriorating, she returned to France on February 21 where she was also diagnosed with legionnaires' disease.
According to the lawsuit, both plaintiffs were unable to return to their normal lives having suffered from depression and anxiety.
The New York Supreme Court is deciding whether the case can go to trial, a decision that could take up to a year to make.
The National asked for a comment from Starwood on the fact legal proceedings had been launched, but no statement has yet been issued.travel news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
As I recall Dubai Municipality published a statement which said that following tests, no traces of transmission of Legionnaires Disease, were found within the Westin's airconditioning and other service systems.
There was no certification of the 'all clear' by an internationally recognised body which in many experts opinion there should be in cases like this. Also, the original controversy arose, because a well known British cricket statistician, Bill Frindell, had stayed at the hotel and died of Legionnaires not long after on his return to the UK.
A relative of mine who was due at a business meeting in Dubai and involved in Irish cricket, had a booking at the Westin, which he cancelled and moved to another hotel in the Dubai Marina once the news had filtered through.