"The team at Irwin Mitchell has a ‘pre-eminent reputation’ for travel personal injury work"

Legal 500 (2016)


A family of eight has instructed travel experts at law firm Irwin Mitchell after their two-week holiday to the Skanes Family Resort in Tunisia was ruined when 7 of them were struck down with symptoms of diarrhoea and stomach cramps.

Holidaymaker Crispin Harrison and his partner from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, took their family to Tunisia. The holiday was likely to be their last family holiday with Crispin’s eldest sons. The trip left the family suffering from sickness and diarrhoea and their nine-year-old son Jay was diagnosed as suffering from stomach infection Cryptosporidium.

The Harrisons were originally due to stay at a different resort chosen specifically by the family for it’s large waterpark until tour operator TUI UK Limited, which they booked the holiday with, phoned beforehand to inform them the hotel was not ready and they could either cancel with a full cash refund or stay at the Skanes Family Resort. As the family had already booked time off work, and the children time off school, they felt like they had no other choice than to go ahead and stay at the alternative family resort.

However the majority of the family were struck with symptoms of diarrhoea and stomach cramps after staying at the hotel, and on the family’s return home, their son Jay visited their GP who confirmed that he was suffering with Cryptosporidium, an infection which can cause severe gastric illness and which can, in certain cases, cause permanent damage to the intestines of young children.

Since the holiday Jay still gets stomach cramps and complains of tiredness and has required f time off school . Dad Crispin, who works as a Banking Advisor, was also forced to have two days off work so that he could care for Jay. Two of their other children also required time off school  or nursery when they first came back from the holiday.

Now travel experts at law firm Irwin Mitchell will investigate the cause of the family’s illness.
Suki Chhokar, a travel law expert at Irwin Mitchell representing the family, said: “What was supposed to be an enjoyable family holiday turned out to be a very unpleasant time for the family. No one expects to go on holiday and come home feeling worse than before you went away.

“Cryptosporidium is an awful gastric illness for anyone to suffer from, let alone a young child, and in the worst case scenarios it can lead to permanent intestinal damage.

“We are concerned by reports that we have received about sub-standard conditions at the hotel. We will now proceed with our investigations and hope that the tour operator will work with us as we seek to provide answers for the family as to the cause of their illness. As part of this investigation we will seek to determine whether more could and should have been done to prevent our clients from becoming ill”

Crispin Harrison,39  said “we are all extremely upset by the whole ordeal. This wasn’t a cheap holiday and we were all looking forward to this for a long time.

“It was a chance to be together on holiday as a whole family with my eldest sons who live far away from us, possibly for the last time, before they would prefer to go away with their friends. But the trip was spoilt due to 7 of us suffering with sickness and diarrhoea.

“During our holiday we saw cats and kittens in the restaurant area at the hotel. Some of the food was undercooked and the toilets next to the swimming pool were often flooded.

“My poor son Jay is still suffering symptoms and has less of an appetite and has lost weight. He also needed time off school.

“Our family holiday was totally ruined and we came back feeling like we needed another holiday to get over the experience. Now we just want answers as to why  7 of us fell so ill during our time away at this resort.”

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"We were very happy with the outcome of our case, especially as we were initially offered nothing from the Tour Operator. Irwin Mitchell were very professional throughout and we are very happy with the outcome."

Chris and Michael, Worksop