Farm will not dispute E.coli liability

The petting farm at the centre of an E.coli outbreak that left several children seriously ill will not be disputing liability in the legal case against it, lawyers said yesterday.

A total of 93 people became infected with the bug following visits to Godstone Farm, near Redhill, Surrey, in August 2009. Seventy-six of those taken ill were children under the age of 10.

Law firm Field Fisher Waterhouse, which is representing 27 children affected by the outbreak, said it had received confirmation from Godstone Farm that it would not be disputing liability in the case.

Two of those worst affected were twins Todd and Aaron Furnell, now aged three, who became infected with the bug while on a school trip to the farm.

They suffered kidney failure and spent several weeks in hospital, leaving Todd with 80 per cent kidney function and Aaron with just 64 per cent, the law firm said.

Aaron needed a feeding tube for liquids until very recently and both may need kidney transplants in future.

A report last year found there were numerous failings in the way the farm handled the outbreak, and in its appreciation of the risk associated with E.coli O157.