One of Scotland’s most prominent lawyers believes residents affected by contaminated water supplies last month can sue Scottish Water.
Patrick McGuire of Thompsons Solicitors says that it appears Scottish Water have committed an offence under the Scotland Water Act and are guilty of supplying water unfit for human consumption.
The problem has affected residents in Carfin, Newarthill, New Stevenston, Dalziel Park, Mossend, Holytown and Chapelhall.
Nine local schools had to be shut with all the knock on problems that caused for working parents. Sampling is continuing to find out what caused the problem.
Scottish Water said the water had an oily based substance with a strong odour. It advised people living in the affected areas to use mains water only to flush their toilets.
Mr McGuire who has experience in dealing with large law suits, such as representing victims of the NHS contaminated blood scandal and those poisoned by the Edinburgh Legionnaires outbreak, said: “The communities in North Lanarkshire affected by the contaminated water know what an enormous problem this has been.
“People’s health has been put at risk and their lives turned upside down. Schools have been shut, causing chaos for parents, but it’s also been a nightmare for elderly people and mums with young babies. Can you imagine what a worry it must have been for them?
“The act of parliament that governs the conduct of Scottish Water is quite clear. They have a statutory duty to supply the public with clean and healthy water.
“If they do not as is the case here then they can be held liable. My team of lawyers who are very experienced in large scale law suits are very confident residents have a strong claim for compensation and we’re already starting to take calls from worried residents.”
Mr McGuire says his law firm has set up a special dedicated help line for affected residents to call.
He said: “Anyone who has been affected by the contaminated water should give my team a call on our special help line 08000 015 162.
“They will help people understand the legal process and we will work as quickly as possible to make sure residents are properly compensated.”