All About Multiple Sclerosis

More MS news articles for July 2003

Charity to be sued by family

16:00 - 25 July 2003
Alison Shaw
Evening Express

A Care charity is being sued after a disabled man died in a horrific Aberdeen scalding.

Multiple sclerosis victim Charles Kirton suffered appalling injuries in the tragedy at the city's Raeden Court.

A criminal prosecution was brought against the Margaret Blackwood Housing Association, which ran the sheltered housing complex, and the organisation was fined £30,000.

Now the association is facing a £160,000 civil case at Aberdeen Sheriff Court. Mr Kirton, a former RAF man, died almost three years ago - 18 days after the accident.

During the criminal case, the city's sheriff court heard the wheelchair-bound 62-year-old had been lowered into a suitably warm bath and left alone to enjoy the Jacuzzi.

But he added more hot water from a tap which had not been fitted with an anti-scald device.

Staff, alerted by shouting, later found him sitting in the bath amongst the steam with serious scalding to 25 of his body.

His injuries extended to his lower legs, buttocks and back.

It was estimated the temperature had reached 56C.

The housing association had been warned five years earlier to take action which could have prevented Mr Kirton's death. The organisation admitted a health and safety breach and apologised to Mr Kirton's family.

The current action has been raised by Penny Bodley, Robert Kirton, Tracy McIntosh and Peter Kirton. They are all represented by Lefevre Litigation of Aberdeen.

The firm's John Symon was unable to make any comment on their behalf on the legal move.

A spokesman for the Margaret Blackwood Housing Association said if a case had been raised it would be handled by their insurers.

"We are not aware of any case having been raised against us at this moment," he said.

Copyright © 2003, Northcliffe Electronic Publishing Ltd