WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY
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Legal 500 (2013)
93 Holidaymakers Struck By Illness At Riu Garopa & Riu Funana Hotels Settle
The holidaymakers had booked their holidays with Thomson Holidays limited and First Choice Holidays and Flights limited, being part of the same company. The entire case was brought against TUI UK Limited, the trading name of Thomson Holidays.
A large number of guests who stayed at the hotel fell ill with symptoms including diarrhoea, sickness, stomach cramps, fever and lethargy. Due to the nature of the illnesses and the fact that some guests had returned positive diagnoses for Shigella and E-Histolytica, along with the complaints made by guests regarding food hygiene standards, it was suspected that the illnesses were caused by food poisoning. Some guests were lucky enough to escape falling victim to the illnesses but pursued a claim for the loss of enjoyment and diminution in the value of their holidays, which were ruined by the illness amongst other family members.
Of our 93 clients, 12 experienced continuing symptoms of illness a significant time after returning from the hotel. The opinions of experts in gastroenterology were sought, who confirmed that the holiday illness had caused these holidaymakers to suffer from post infective irritable bowel syndrome. In some of these cases, the symptoms would remain permanent, requiring further medical treatment.
There were also complaints of poor health and hygiene conditions at the hotel as well as poor sanitation standards. Some guests complained of the terrible sewage smell in the Hotel and referred to the hotel’s restaurant having severe problems with flies, cats and dogs all regularly being in the same area as the food, which was often left uncovered.
A case was brought against TUI UK Limited under the Package Travel Regulations 1992, who accepted liability. Court proceedings were issued in 2010 in order to protect our clients’ right to bring a claim.
After much negotiation with the Defendant, the specialist International Travel litigation Team here at Irwin Mitchell managed to agree settlement on behalf of all 93 clients for a total sum in excess of £300,000.
Worryingly, we have since been approached by potential clients who also fell ill at the same hotel in 2009 and 2011, suggesting that lessons have not been learned. For the clients who holidayed at the hotel in 2009, Irwin Mitchell has so far recovered in excess of £13,000 on their behalf.
If you also travelled to this hotel and have subsequently suffered from symptoms of gastric illness, 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 illness claim, contact us on 0800 056 0066 or complete our enquiry form and we will call you back.
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"I just wanted to send you a short note to thank you very much indeed to our solicitor for managing to settle this for me – it’s really very much appreciated. You did so in a very professional, helpful and efficient manner."