The family of twins who suffered kidney failure following an E.coli outbreak are suing the farm involved, it was announced today.
Law firm Field Fisher Waterhouse issued proceedings today against Godstone Farm, near Redhill, Surrey, where 93 people became infected with the bug last year.
The claim is for damages for personal injury and consequential loss.
The firm is representing 17 families, including 25 children and one adult, and expects to add these to the legal action at a later stage.
Seventy-six of the people affected by the outbreak were children under the age of 10.
Twins Todd and Aaron Furnell, now aged three, became infected with E.coli while on a school trip to the farm.
They suffered kidney failure and spent several weeks in hospital, leaving Todd with 80% kidney function and Aaron with 64%, the law firm said.
Aaron needs a feeding tube for liquids and both children may need kidney transplants in the future.
The boys' mother, Tracy Mock, has instructed Jill Greenfield, personal injury partner at Field Fisher Waterhouse, to bring the claim in the High Court.
The action follows a damning report on Tuesday which found that a "substantial" number of cases at the farm could have been prevented if health chiefs had responded quickly.
The Health Protection Agency (HPA) missed a key opportunity to take action which would have restricted the size of the outbreak, the independent investigation found.
The farm remained open over the August Bank Holiday weekend - receiving 5,500 visitors, including 2,000 children - despite the fact officials already knew about three or four cases of the bug.
The report said there was an "unacceptable delay" in taking steps to control the outbreak, which led to more people becoming infected and public safety being "neglected".
Godstone Farm eventually shut on September 12, about four weeks after the first case of the bug was reported.
Today, the Kent Health Protection Unit - part of the HPA - said it was investigating another "small cluster" of suspected E.coli cases among children.
One case has been confirmed and two others are being investigated.
All three children are said to be "well" and have not been admitted to hospital. None of the cases are linked to farm visits.
The children are members of the same family who have mixed socially on several occasions in recent weeks, including barbecues and picnics in the countryside.
Kent Health Protection Unit is leading the investigation because the first case was detected in the county. However, two of the suspected victims come from Sussex.
Letters informing parents of E.coli O157 -the same strain as seen at Godstone Farm - have been sent to local schools and to GPs, alerting them to the diagnosis and asking them to report any diarrhoea symptoms.
Dr Mathi Chandrakumar, director of the Kent Health Protection Unit, said: "We are raising awareness of E.coli O157 infection, especially as, at this time of year, people attend more barbecues and picnics in the countryside.
"It is an infection that can be passed easily from person to person and young children are especially vulnerable to it and to complications which can arise from it."
Symptoms of E.coli infection include diarrhoea and vomiting and the bug can be especially dangerous in young children because they cannot tolerate much fluid loss.
People can become infected with E.coli in several ways, including through consuming contaminated food or drink.
They can also get E.coli through direct contact with contaminated animals, or by contact with an environment contaminated with animal faeces.
Direct spread from person to person also occurs, particularly in families and between children.Reuse content