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

Legal 500 (2016)

Dream Husky Dog Sleigh Experience Becomes A Nightmare

The International Travel litigation team here at Irwin Mitchell have been instructed to act on behalf of two clients who sustained various injuries during a husky dog sleigh experience whilst on a day trip in Lapland during December 2011.

Our clients had booked a day trip to Lapland for the 11th December 2011. The trip was booked as a surprise 60th birthday present. Thomas Cook’s holiday brochure advertised the trip as being suitable for families with children, so our clients were not only looking forward to a magical experience but a safe one.

Shortly after arriving in Lapland, the trip was to begin with a husky sleigh ride. Our clients sat on the sleigh, as directed by the driver, who would control the sleigh from the back. Neither of our clients had experienced a husky sleigh ride before and were surprised that they were given no instructions prior to the experience commencing.

The dogs were ordered to ‘mush’, at which point they set off at a fast rate. Both our clients were alarmed at the speed at which that sleigh travelled and the way it jerked from side to side. As the sleigh ride went on, the dogs seemed to pick up speed. The driver of the sleigh appeared to have lost control and the dogs began to pull the sleigh off course.

Suddenly, the dogs surged up an embankment, leaving the track altogether. The sleigh was violently out of control and the driver, for reasons unknown, decided to abandon the sleigh. It was at this point that the sleigh flipped and catapulted our clients into the trees on the embankment.

One of our clients sustained severe bruising and injuries to his ribs whilst his partner sustained two black eyes, severe bruising to her body, limbs and face, deep lacerations to her face, whiplash, a fractured nose and a double fracture to her right arm.

Our clients spent the remainder of the day in the local Lapland Hospital.

Two months later, our client is still unable to drive, unable to work and requires care and assistance from family and friends. She has recently begun a course of counselling to help her overcome the ordeal and she is continuing to receive medical treatment and physiotherapy.

The Christmas and New Year period was also ruined for the family as a result of the injuries sustained.

If you have sustained an injury whilst abroad, Irwin Mitchell, who specialise in dealing with cases of such nature, would like to hear from you if you.

For more advice on making a holiday 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