The relatives of an Indian tourist who died after being burned in a hotel shower in Edinburgh has received compensation and an apology from the hotel owners.
Kalyani Uthaman, 59, was staying at the Premier Inn in Newcraighall while visiting Scotland in August 2012. During her stay, she suffered severe burns leading to multiple organ failure and finally her death, six weeks after the incident.
Uthaman’s family sued the hotel for a six-figure sum in order to pay her hospital fees, arguing that the operators did not display a proper duty of care because they had not installed a device to regulate water temperature in their showers.
The hotel responded by saying her death was “an isolated incident”.
Kalyani’s son, Sundar Uthaman, told the BBC: “I feel vindicated in the sense that a settlement is an acknowledgement by (Premier Inn parent company) Whitbread that they did wrong. 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.
“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.”
Uthaman’s family also requested a Fatal Accident Inquiry be made into her death, though the crown office ultimately decided an inquiry “would not be in the public interest”.
The family said it was unclear why an inquiry was not being pursued, as to prevent similar accidents from happening in the future.
Glenn Millar, at Thompsons Solicitors, commented: “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.”