Widow sues P&O cruises over claims husband was killed by fumes

Widow sues P&O cruises over claim lung disease-suffering husband, 45, died two months after inhaling diesel fumes during seven-day luxury trip around Norwegian fjords

  • Peter Gair died two months after falling ill on The Ventura cruise ship in 2018 
  • Wife says husband’s pre-existing medical conditions worsened by the fumes
  • Carnival Corporation PLC, British-American cruise operator, denies the claims

A widow is suing P&O cruises over claims her husband died from inhaling fuel fumes on board a luxury ship during a dream holiday around the Norwegian fjords.

Father-of-three Peter Gair, 45, from Quinton, Birmingham, passed away two months after falling seriously ill on The Ventura cruise ship in August 2018.

Mr Gair and his wife Sarah started to become unwell with trouble breathing and a nasty cough during the seven-day cruise. 

Father-of-three Peter Gair, 45, (pictured on the right with his family – including his wife, Sarah) died two months after falling seriously ill on The Ventura cruise ship in August 2018

Despite seeking medical treatment on the ship and he died just two months after disembarking on October 13, 2018.

Mrs Gair is now taking legal action against Carnival Plc, which trades as P&O Cruises, after being left to look after their three children alone.

She says her husband’s pre-existing medical conditions significantly worsened after he inhaled fuel fumes during their stay in a cabin on board the ship.

Mrs Gair, 45, said: ‘It’s just devastating to lose Peter and he’s fondly remembered and sadly missed by everyone who knew him.

‘Although he had some health problems before the cruise he was working full-time and helping to look after our three children.

‘He hadn’t suffered any significant problems for some time before the cruise. We just want to understand once and for all what happened to him.’

Mrs Gair has since been fundraising for the Action for Pulmonary Fibrosis charity in memory of her husband.

She said before the cruise, Mr Gair had answered a pre-cruise medical questionnaire indicating that he had lupus and pulmonary fibrosis lung disease.

His conditions were stable and monitored by medical consultants but he brought oxygen on board to help him breathe when he needed it.

Despite this, Mrs Gair says they were accommodated in a cabin where there was a strong smell of fuel oil.

Mr Gair and his wife Sarah started to become unwell with trouble breathing while on the cruise ship (pictured) 

During the cruise Mr Gair reported to the medical centre with a shortness of breath and a productive cough and had used all of the oxygen he brought on board.

When the ship docked in Southampton, he was taken straight to hospital by ambulance and he remained in intensive care until September 2018.

In late September his condition worsened and he was re-admitted to Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital with increasing shortness of breath.

He was admitted to critical care on October 10 where he was put on a ventilator but his condition did not improve.

A post-mortem concluded that three factors caused Mr Gair’s death – pneumonia, pulmonary fibrosis and lupus.

A medical report obtained by Sarah’s solicitors Irwin Mitchell revealed lung samples showing chronic lung disease with inflammation.

Inhalation of diesel fumes are known to cause lung inflammation and are dangerous in someone with a serious pre-existing underlying lung disease.

Medical experts have said that if it is the case that Mr Gair had breathed in engine oil fumes, it is likely in his opinion, this made his condition worse.

Clare Pearson, a specialist international serious injury lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, said: ‘This is a tragic case which has left Sarah and her three young children devastated.

‘Peter was well and working before the cruise and was a much loved man. We are investigating what happened onboard the ship and we are gathering evidence from medical experts and engineers.

‘If anyone else has experienced fumes whilst onboard the Ventura Cruise we would like to hear from them to assist with our enquiries.

‘Sarah would like to know that everything has been done to investigate her husband’s untimely death and that, if possible, lessons can be learned to help prevent others from going through a similar ordeal in future.’

A claims management conference is being held at the Royal Courts of Justice in London today.

Carnival Corporation PLC, the British-American cruise operator, has denied all allegations made.

The Ventura cruise ship can accommodate up to 3,078 guests and a further 1,205 crew members on board.

P&O cruises promise a family-friendly environment with lots happening onboard including sporting facilities, spas, four pools and a lavish two-deck theatre aboard the 291.4m (954ft) ship.

The seven-day cruise through the Norwegian fjords lets holidaymakers experience the Northern lights, bustling cities in Norway and stunning views and landscapes.

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