Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Claim for £1m after Edinburgh hotel scalding death

Kalyani Uthaman
Image caption Kalyani Uthaman is said to have died of multiple organ failure after being scalded

The family of a tourist who died after being burned in an Edinburgh hotel shower has lodged legal action at the Court of Session.

Kalyani Uthaman, 59, from India had been on holiday in Scotland in August 2012 when she was severely scalded at the Premier Inn in Newcraighall.

Mrs Uthaman sustained 25% burns to her body and died of multiple organ failure.

Her family is seeking more than £1m from Premier Inn's owners.

On 4 August 2012, Mrs Uthaman went for a shower, but minutes later her daughter-in-law found her lying slumped and scalded.

She was treated in intensive care for six weeks but died of multiple organ failure, which doctors said was caused by her burns.

'Very hurtful'

Sundar Vadivel Uthaman, 44, her son, from Bangalore, India, was also on holiday with her.

He said: "It is an irreparable loss given the love and affection she had for us and we had for her.

"It was something none of us expected would ever happen in a very safe country like the UK.

"It's been very, very difficult. What my mother had to go through is very hurtful and I don't think anyone from the hotel even bothered to call us to check about her state or if we need any help, because we are not from the UK and we are not locals of Scotland."

Glen Millar, of Thompsons Solicitors, said their case centres on the claim thermostatic valves, which prevent scalding, should have been fitted.

He said: "While the regulations say [the valves] only need to be installed in buildings constructed after 2006, we believe there is a case in common law that the hotel failed to properly care for Mrs Uthaman."

Case 'fully investigated'

Whitbread plc, which owns the Premier Inn chain, said: ''Our thoughts are with the family of Ms Uthaman during what must have been, and which must remain, an extremely difficult period for them.

"We have worked closely with and supported the relevant authorities with their enquiries around this case. As civil proceedings are active we unfortunately cannot comment further.''

The Uthaman family, and their lawyer, said they were unable to understand why the Crown Office decided not to hold a fatal accident inquiry into the death so lessons could be learned to prevent similar future accidents.

The Crown Office said it was a tragic case, which was fully investigated.

The case for damages is due to have its first call in court later this month.

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