Hotel shower death family seek £1 million damages

The family of a tourist who died after being burned in an Edinburgh hotel shower are seeking damages in excess of £1 million.
Picture: TSPLPicture: TSPL
Picture: TSPL

Kalyani Uthaman, 59, from India, was scalded at the Premier Inn at Newcraighall in August 2012.

She reportedly suffered 25 per cent burns to her body and died of multiple organ failure six weeks after the incident.

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Mrs Uthaman had gone for a shower on 4 August 2012, but just minutes later her daughter-in-law found her slumped and scalded.

Her family has lodged a legal action the Court of Session in Edinburgh, Scotland’s highest civil court, against Whitbread plc, the hotel chain’s operators.

Mrs Uthaman’s son, Sundar Vadivel Uthaman, 44, from Bangalore, 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.”

Glen Millar, of Thompsons Solicitors, said: “As instructed by the Uthaman family, a summons has been served on Whitbread plc as operators of Premier Inn seeking damages in excess of £1 million arising from the tragic loss of their mother, grandmother and sister Kalyani.

“The Court of Session has ordered that the case call for the first time on 20 November, after which a comprehensive timetable will be issued.” He said the family regard the hearing as a “significant milestone”.

He added: “An expression of condolence issued after service of the summons is the first communication from Whitbread to that effect and their first communication at all on the case for over two years.”

A spokeswoman for Premier Inn said: “This is a very sad incident. Our thoughts are with the family of Ms Uthaman during what must have been, and which must remain, an extremely difficult period for them.”

Mr Millar and Mrs Uthaman’s family had wanted a fatal accident inquiry into the incident.

However, the Crown Office said the case was fully investigated and to hold such an inquiry “would not be in the public interest”.