E.coli family wins legal aid

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The Independent Online
THE FAMILY of a victim of the world's worst E. coli food-poisoning outbreak has been granted legal aid to appear at an inquiry into the 20 deaths. Solicitor Paul Santoni said he had been told his application had been granted on behalf of Mary Gardiner, 71, whose husband Alexander died. The fatal accident inquiry begins in Motherwell on 20 April.

Mr Gardiner, 69, attended a church lunch in Wishaw, Lanarkshire, in November 1996, where many elderly people were struck down by the E.coli 0157 bug. He died in Law Hospital on 27 November, 17 days after the outbreak began. The deaths continued until June last year

John Barr, of Wishaw, whose butcher shop was implicated in the outbreak, stood trial last year accused of culpable and reckless conduct over the supply of cooked meat, but the case collapsed with a ruling of no case to answer. In January, Mr Barr's business partnership was fined pounds 2,250 for food hygiene and safety breaches.