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UK hotel pays compensation for Indian tourist’s death

The family of an Indian tourist, who died after being scalded in an Edinburgh hotel shower in 2012, has received an undisclosed six-figure compensation after a settlement.

world Updated: May 25, 2017 15:17 IST
File photo of Premier Inn hotel in Newcraighall, Scotland.
File photo of Premier Inn hotel in Newcraighall, Scotland. (Courtesy premierinn.com )

The family of an Indian tourist, who died after being scalded in an Edinburgh hotel shower in August 2012, has received an apology and an undisclosed six-figure compensation after a settlement.

Karnataka-origin Kalyani Uthaman, 59, was on holiday in Scotland when she was severely scalded at Premier Inn in Newcraighall. She suffered multiple organ failure and died in hospital weeks later. 

Her family sued for a six-figure sum to pay hospital fees. The hotel's owners said it was "an isolated incident" but the family’s lawyer argued the hotel failed in its duty of care by not having fitted a thermostatic mixing valve to regulate water temperature.

Speaking from Bengaluru, Uthaman's son Sundar Uthaman told BBC she was treated in intensive care for six weeks but died of multiple organ failure. "I feel vindicated…I'm still angry at what they did and the fact it wasn't until Thompsons Solicitors raised the court proceedings that they issued an apology,” he said. 

"I would also bring to attention that nobody spoke to me and my family regarding what happened. So I really feel disappointed. The settlement has prevented the evidence being heard in court. I would really like this to be discussed in the court to make sure such a tragedy never happens to anyone else."

A Crown Office spokesman said: "The family of Kalyani Uthaman were informed, in January 2014, of the decision not to hold a Fatal Accident Inquiry. The incident was fully investigated by police, the council and health and safety experts.”

A spokesman for Premier Inn said: "We are very sorry for the tragic accident that occurred to Ms Uthaman in 2012 and our thoughts are with her family. We take millions of bookings every year and we would like to reassure our guests that this was an isolated incident.”

Lawyer Glenn Miller told BBC he believed there was a case in common law that the hotel did not look after Uthaman properly: “They failed in their duty of care to Mrs Uthaman, who was having a shower. She should have been protected by a thermostatic mixing valve had a code of practice been followed."