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Illness at Riu Helios Bay Hotel, Bulgaria

This is the second year that we have received enquiries from dozens of people who have fallen victim to gastric illness during their all-inclusive package holidays at the Riu Helios Bay Hotel, Obzor Beach in Bulgaria during July 2009.

Guests at the hotel developed symptoms of gastric sickness including diarrhoea, vomiting and stomach cramps.  Some guests have been attended by local doctors and we are aware that some people were put in IV drips and even hospitalised. At least 4 holidaymakers, including 3 children, have been confirmed as suffering salmonella poisoning.

There have been complaints from guests which suggest that there may have been a breakdown in health and hygiene standards. 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.

One of the families affected is the Riley family from Solihull in the West Midlands. Anita Riley, husband John and their two children Megan and Jack travelled to the hotel in mid-July for week-long all inclusive holiday with UK tour operator, Portland Holidays Direct.  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.”

We are currently acting for holidaymakers who stayed at the same hotel in 2006, and who suffered with similar symptoms. The clients have all complained about severe gastric symptoms and have had similar complaints in relation to the health and hygiene conditions at the hotel. Amongst those ill was a 7 year old who was severely affected and had to be treated by the Hotel doctor on several occasions which completely ruined the holiday. These clients are bringing an action against Thomson for the Pain Suffering and Loss of Amenity which they suffered as a result of their holiday, including loss of enjoyment and diminution of value of the holiday due to their illness or the illness of their family member as a result of this horrific holiday experience.

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