"The team has so many contacts with foreign insurers and so many people with foreign languages that it is miles ahead of others."

Chambers and Partners (2014)

Riu Helios Bay Hotel, Bulgaria

Irwin Mitchell represents 15 holidaymakers who fell victim to an outbreak of gastric illness during their all-inclusive package holidays at the Riu Helios Bay Hotel, Obzor Beach in Bulgaria during July 2009.

The holidaymakers were among dozens of guests at the hotel who developed symptoms of gastric sickness including diarrhoea, vomiting and stomach cramps. Some guests were attended by local doctors and some people were put on IV drips and even hospitalised. Two of our clients were diagnosed with salmonella food poisoning.

Our clients’ complaints suggest that there may have been a breakdown in health and hygiene standards at the hotel. Reports include roast chicken being served undercooked with blood clearly visible as it was being carved, the cold buffet not being served from chiller cabinets, heat lamps being used to keep food hot, guests handling food with their bare hands, and broken crockery and spilled food not being cleared up.

The holidaymakers are taking legal action against Portland Holidays, which is part of the TUI UK Ltd travel group. TUI UK Ltd has now admitted liability for illness suffered by the group. This now paves the way for a financial settlement which has still to be agreed.

Anita Riley, husband John and their two children Megan and Jack travelled to the hotel in mid-July 2009 for a week-long all inclusive holiday. Within days, they were struck down with stomach cramps, diarrhoea and vomiting, and Anita was later diagnosed as being infected with salmonella poisoning.

Anita told us: “One by one John, Jack and I fell ill. Only Megan managed to escape illness and she couldn’t go anywhere or enjoy her holiday because the rest of us were all confined to our room with stomach cramps and diarrhoea. The holiday was a complete nightmare and we were all so thankful to come home.”

The 2009 outbreak follows previous problems at the same hotel back in 2006 and although an out of court settlement was reached, TUI UK Limited, denied liability for this earlier outbreak. 

If you have been affected by gastric illness following a stay at this hotel, you may be able to claim compensation for your ruined holiday and also the pain and suffering caused by the illness. For more advice on making a holiday illness claim, contact us on 0800 056 0066 or complete our enquiry form and we will call you back.

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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