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Man’s First Holiday Abroad Devastated When Illness Struck

Travel giant holds hands up to Salmonella poisoning that cost holidaymaker his job.


A British holidaymaker whose first holiday abroad was ruined when he was struck with gastric symptoms so severe he was forced to leave the job he loved has today spoken of his relief after winning his battle for justice.

Thomas Cook Tour Operations Limited has accepted failings at the four-star Chich Khan Hotel in Tunisia which caused 49-year-old Martin Ormiston to lose his job as a factory worker after he contracted Salmonella whilst staying at the hotel last spring.

Celebrating his partner Janet’s 60th birthday on his first holiday abroad Martin from Edinburgh began to suffer severe stomach cramps, diarrhoea and vomiting which continued long after he returned to the UK, where he was diagnosed with Salmonella.

Following his diagnosis he turned to travel law experts at Irwin Mitchell for help who have now secured an admission of liability from the tour giant.

Philip Banks, a Partner at Irwin Mitchell’s specialist International Travel Law team said: “We are pleased that Thomas Cook has finally admitted it was at fault for the systematic failings which not only caused Mr Ormiston to become seriously ill but also cost him his job. We now hope they will continue working with us to resolve matters quickly by agreeing fair and reasonable compensation for Martin and his partner so that they can finally put this terrible ordeal behind them.”

Martin and Janet stayed at the Chich Khan Hotel in April 2010 and had been looking forward to making the most of the resort’s ‘luxurious’ facilities – as advertised on its website – but instead they were left horrified by the appalling standards at the Tunisian hotel.

Amongst a number of issues, the couple reported witnessing food being served undercooked, dirty accommodation and a dining area ‘overrun with animals’.

Martin said: “I’m very pleased that Thomas Cook has eventually accepted that they were to blame for what happened has to me. It has been horrendous since the holiday and I can’t wait for it to be over.

“As a result of my illness I lost around a stone in weight and I’m still suffering symptoms – this whole experience has left me feeling very down and depressed.

“What was supposed to be a fantastic holiday to celebrate a major birthday turned out to be an absolute disaster. This was my first trip abroad, and it is likely that it will be my last

“This holiday has cost me so much, both in terms of loss of earnings and in quality of life. I lost my job at a local factory due to the amount of time I was forced to take off work which was a result of my illness. Luckily I’ve now been able to return to work and have found a new job.

“My only consolation in this whole mess is that Janet did not come down with something as well. As she is a carer for her elderly father who depends upon her for everything, things could have been much worse. You would never think that a week in the sun could have such serious implications for so many people.”

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