UK hotel pays compensation to family of Indian woman burnt to death under shower
London, May 26: Finally, the family of Kalyani Uthaman, an Indian woman who died after being severely burnt by the water from the shower of a Scotland hotel, feels vindicated after the hotel authorities apologised and agreed to pay an undisclosed amount of compensation for their negligence which led the 59-year-old's "horrific" death.
However, justice for Kalyani did not come easy. Her family members, residents of Bengaluru, Karnataka, fought a five-year-old legal battle against the Premier Inn in Newcraighall, an Edinburgh suburb, where Kalyani was scalded under the shower during her vacation in Scotland in 2012.
In the incident, the victim suffered multi-organ failure and died in hospital weeks later.
Later Kalyani's family had sued Whitbread, the owners of the hotel, to recover the six-figure amount spent on hospital fees. The hotel had said it was not responsible for the "isolated incident".
The family's lawyer had argued that the hotel had failed in its duty of care by not fitting a thermostat to regulate the water temperature in the shower. The argument seems to have now been accepted by the hotel, leading to a settlement this week.
"I feel vindicated in the sense that a settlement is an acknowledgement by Whitbread that they did wrong," Sundar Uthaman, Kalyani's son, was quoted as saying by the BBC.
"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. I would also bring to attention that nobody spoke to me and my family regarding what happened," he said.
"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," he added.
A spokesperson for Premier Inn said the hotel was sorry for the "tragic accident".
"We take millions of bookings every year and we would like to reassure our guests that this was an isolated incident. We constantly monitor and regulate the water temperature of our showers in line with the industry's best practices, which is based on the Health and Safety Executive regulatory guidance and the National Health Service health-care guidelines," the spokesperson said.