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Sun 24 Apr 2011 01:47 PM

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Starwood calls for Legionnaire's lawsuit to be dismissed

New York court is ‘not proper forum’ for $16.7m lawsuit linked to Dubai’s Westin hotel, says operator

Starwood calls for Legionnaire's lawsuit to be dismissed
The New York Supreme Court could take up to a year to decide whether the case against Starwood should proceed to trial

Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide said the New
York Supreme Court is not an appropriate forum to hear a lawsuit
against the company originating from a Dubai hotel.

The company is facing a $16.7m (AED61.3m) lawsuit
in the US after two guests claimed to have contracted Legionnaires Disease after staying at the Westin Mina Seyahi in Dubai.

The US-based hotel chain said it would ask the court to dismiss the lawsuit.

"[The company] does not
believe the New York Supreme Court is the proper forum for this matter," Starwood said in an emailed statement.

“[Starwood] has asked the court to dismiss the lawsuit. A
similar suit filed in federal court in New York by the same attorneys for one
of the plaintiffs was dismissed last year by the court on its own volition."

The New York Supreme Court could take up to a year to decide whether the case should proceed to trial.

Legionnaire's disease is a type of pneumonia that can be contracted by inhaling the bacteria from water droplets in the air, such as those created by air conditioning systems. Although rare, the disease can be fatal.

According to court papers, Thomas Boyle, from Britain, and Elodie
Nogues, from France, became unwell after staying at the Westin in
January and February of 2009.

The health of the pair deteriorated rapidly and
resulted in hospital stays, court papers show. Both were later diagnosed with Legionnaire's.

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