Stoke-on-Trent Legionnaires' outbreak: Dad Richard Griffin died doing 'job he loved'
THE 64-year-old man killed by Legionnaires' Disease was a delivery driver who supplied meats to the discount superstore being blamed for the outbreak.
JG Meats driver Richard Griffin regularly supplied products to the cafe at JTF Mega Discount Warehouse, in Fenton.
It is understood father-of-two Mr Griffin was taken ill in mid July after visiting the store and was in hospital for a week.
A hot tub at the King Street superstore has been identified as the 'probable source' of the outbreak which killed Mr Griffin and left 18 peole in hospital.
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Stoke City fan Mr Griffin, of Westbury Park, died at the University Hospital of North Staffordshire's critical care unit at 10.30am on Saturday.
His cause of death was confirmed as legionella pneumonia at an inquest yesterday.
Assistant coroner Anthony Curzon said: "I have received a preliminary post-mortem examination report, but there are further toxicology tests to be carried out.
"The cause of death was multiple organ failure, due to legionella pneumonia."
Neighbours today spoke of their shock after Mr Griffin's death. Friend Helen Entwistle said: "Richard will be really missed. It was so shocking to find out he had died because he was one of the fittest guys you could meet.
"He used to deliver meats to the warehouse and he must have picked up the bug there. He loved his family and his job."
Her husband Alan said: "Richard was a good friend, who was charming and funny.
"He was one of the most loyal people you could meet.
"We have known him for about four-and-a-half years but he was the sort of guy you felt you had known all your life."
Nine patients last night remained in hospital as they continued to recover from Legionnaires' Disease.
The spa pool was withdrawn from sale on July 24 and it is possible more cases could emerge over the next week.
It has emerged thousands of people have contacted NHS Direct with health concerns since the JTF store was named as the 'probable' source on Monday.
Dr Steve Fawcett, clinical director of Stoke-on-Trent Clinical Commissioning Group, said: "Around 1,000 extra people contacted NHS Direct over the 24 hours after the hot tub was identified as the probable source, but they were all found to have no symptoms of the illness."
Early symptoms of the 'flu-like' disease include muscle aches, tiredness, headaches, a dry cough and fever.
Following the outbreak, lawyers are preparing for potential legal action on behalf of the affected patients.
Associate solicitor Amandeep Dhillon, of Irwin Mitchell – which is already representing 30 patients involved in this year's Legionnaires' outbreak in Edinburgh – said: "It is difficult to say how much money people could claim. It would depend on the severity of the illness and the impact it has had on them, whether it stops people from working, or means they will need a carer."
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