WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY
"The team at Irwin Mitchell has a ‘pre-eminent reputation’ for travel personal injury work"
Legal 500 (2016)
Hotel Tropicana Grand Oasis Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt
Irwin Mitchell’s Travel Litigation Team has assisted a window fitter from Derbyshire who was injured on holiday in Egypt.
Kevin Wright, 44, from Ripley, Derbyshire, suffered ankle ligament damage when he fell on an unsafe jetty on a five-star holiday in Egypt. He has won his battle for justice after a court ruled travel giant Thomson failed to ensure his safety at the resort.
Mr Wright travelled with tour operator Thomson to Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, in December 2005. He was using a private beach at the Hotel Tropicana Grand Oasis when he fell on an unsecured jetty being worked on by hotel staff, tearing his ankle ligaments.
He was forced to spend the rest of the holiday in a wheelchair with his leg in plaster.
Following a trial at Birmingham County Court on Wednesday, Thompson were found to be liable for Mr Wright’s injuries, and he was awarded in excess of £10,000 which also covers his lost earnings while out of action through injury.
Now our travel law experts who helped Mr Wright in his fight for justice, are calling for tour operators to ensure safety regulations are enforced at their holiday resorts to prevent more accidents occurring.
Nicholas Jackson, a travel law expert, said: “We had repeatedly tried to come to an amicable solution with Thomson but they have unnecessarily insisted on taking things all the way to court. It is a big relief for Mr Wright to win his battle for justice, it isn’t about the settlement it is about the principle of the tour operator taking responsibility for the safety of its customers.
“This is a tragic case of a man who has suffered injuries that could easily have been avoided had basic health and safety measures been put in place.
“Tour operators are responsible for ensuring the safety at the resorts their customers are being sent to. This incident is unacceptable and demonstrates a complete disregard for health and safety.
“We are now urging Thomson to ensure that measures are put in place to protect holidaymakers to avoid incidents like this in future.”
Mr Wright said: “Thomson tried to claim that I didn’t even have an accident, despite being confined to a wheelchair with a cast on and reporting the incident to one of their holiday reps at the resort. It’s absolutely absurd and I’m relieved that this is now over and I can start to move on with my life.”
Mr Wright and his family were using a private beach at the Grand Oasis, sister hotel to his accommodation, the Tropicana Garden Palms, they had to use the jetty to get into the sea in order to protect the coral reef below.
While supervising his son swimming Mr Wright felt the jetty become more unstable and saw other guests fall into the sea after losing their balance. The jetty had detached itself from its mooring, causing it to become vulnerable to even the slightest wave movement.
Staff at the resort were unable to re-attach the jetty immediately, and guests were encouraged to return to shore as quickly as possible. However the instability of the jetty caused Mr Wright to be thrown to the floor causing severe pain in his left leg.
The local hospital confirmed Mr Wright had suffered torn ligaments in his left ankle, which was placed in a plaster cast restricting him to a wheelchair for the rest of his holiday.
Upon returning home, Mr Wright’s GP referred him for physiotherapy at Ripley Hospital. He still suffers from some pain in his ankle and is apprehensive using ladders, which has meant that he no longer fits windows.
Mr Wright said: “It’s been terrible over the past few years. I was a window fitter before the accident, but I couldn’t walk properly for six months after the incident and I still suffer pains in my ankle , so I no longer fit windows as I used to before the accident.
“Staff were working on the jetty when we arrived, but at no point were we, or any of the other guests, told that the jetty was unsafe to use.
“When it started moving around I was struggling to hold on as the jetty was swaying from side to side, but my main concern was for the safety of my son”.
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