Woman sues hotel over sister’s carbon monoxide death

A Limerick woman is suing a Kinsale hotel over an incident that killed her sister.

Patricia Russell has instituted High Court proceedings against Trident Bawncross Ltd, the company that operates the Trident Hotel, concerning the suspected gas leak that claimed the life of her sister, Miriam Reidy, 35, and left Ms Russell seriously ill last year.

In turn, the Trident Hotel is also suing the plumbing firm that refurbished a boiler at the hotel.

Ms Russell and Ms Reidy, both originally from Ballyhahill in Co Limerick, had travelled to Kinsale for their cousin’s hen party and were sharing a room at the Trident hotel on Jan 9, 2011.

It is understood that Ms Reidy sought medical attention and was seen by a doctor during the night at the Trident after complaining of being unwell.

However, Ms Reidy’s body was discovered in her hotel room on the Sunday afternoon while Ms Russell was seriously ill and was unable to unable to attend her sister’s funeral eight days later as she continued to recover in hospital.

An adjourned inquest in June last year heard that Ms Reidy died from acute carbon monoxide poisoning.

Now, documents lodged with the High Court show that Ms Russell instituted High Court proceedings in May of this year against Trident Bawncross Ltd.

The taking of legal proceedings is also confirmed by the Trident Hotel in accounts recently lodged with the Companies Office.

A note attached to the accounts states that “litigation is in the process against the company relating to the unfortunate death of a guest who was staying in the hotel due to a suspected gas leak on a newly refurbished boiler in the hotel”.

The note continues: “The company has commenced counter litigation against the firm that carried out the boiler refurbishment… The directors are of the opinion that the claim against the company can be successfully resisted.”

The Reidy family yesterday declined to comment with a family spokeswoman stating that the family would prefer not to comment pending the outcome of the garda investigation into Miriam’s death.

The Trident Hotel is owned by the Good family and asked to comment on the litigation, David Good said yesterday: “This is an ongoing process and we would rather not comment on this for legal reasons.”

Asked to comment on the impact Ms Reidy’s death has had on the owners and staff at the hotel, Mr Good said that he would prefer not to comment on the tragedy “due to the level of upset that it will naturally cause everyone”.

He added however: “Our thoughts are forever with the Reidy family and the unfortunate incident had a huge impact on everyone at the hotel.”

The hotel was closed for one month after Ms Reidy’s death with a disruption for a further three months.

The closure and disruption contributed to the Trident Hotel recording a €192,000 operating loss in 2011 compared to an operating profit of €186,000 in 2010.

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