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Legal 500 (2016)

Illness Outbreaks at Beach Club Hotel, Torremolinos

We are aware of holidaymakers reporting illness at this hotel in 2010 - find out more

Irwin Mitchell won over £2.5 million in compensation for holidaymakers whose holidays were ruined by illness and poor standards at the Beach Club Hotel, Spain. The case is one of the largest of its kind.

Almost one thousand holidaymakers staying at the Torremolinos Beach Club Hotel were struck down with illness after reporting a catalogue of health and hygiene problems. The restaurant facilities were dirty and food from the self service buffet was reportedly reheated. There were also complaints of a sewage smell throughout the hotel. The case was brought against seven different Tour Operators after they sold holidays at the hotel to customers across the UK.

Even when problems of illness were apparent at the hotel, Tour Operators continued to send customers there, showing a complete disregard for their health. When in resort, the Claimants found that the Tour representatives were very unhelpful and dismissive in dealing with their complaints and helping them when ill. Many were so seriously affected that they were admitted to hospital. Some reported seeing ambulances at the hotel on an almost daily basis during their stay.

Philip Banks, a Partner at Irwin Mitchell solicitors said:

“Many of those taken ill complained of vomiting, diarrhoea and stomach cramps and, although many victims are now recovered, some clients were so badly affected that, according to medical experts, they may never make a full recovery. Many of those ill were either young children or elderly people and it was a frightening experience for them.

"Whilst there are issues relating to quality complaints at the hotel, the main issue that has aggrieved my clients is that Tour Operators continued to send their customers to the hotel even though there were longstanding problems there relating to gastric illness."

Compensation for 4-year-old girl

Mollie May Cole, a child residing in Exeter, travelled with her family to the Beach Club Hotel, Torremolinos, Spain. She was four years old at the time.

Approximately two days before the end of the holiday, Mollie fell ill with gastric symptoms.  She experienced terrible diarrhoea, which was almost constant, and also vomiting and stomach cramps. These symptoms continued up to her departure and continued after her return to the UK.

On the family's return home they consulted their GP on Mollie's condition and a stool sample was taken which tested positive for Salmonella.  Mollie's vomiting was extremely frequent in the initial stages of her illness. As a result of her illness, she also suffered loss of appetite.  Mollie remained unwell for 62 days in total.

Whilst at the hotel, her parents, together with other holidaymakers who had also suffered similar symptoms, voiced their concerns to the Tour Representatives, but found that the Representatives were unhelpful in dealing with complaints. At one point so many people were taken ill that the hotel was barely able to cope with the situation and guests described a scene of complete chaos.

The main complaint related to the fact that it was alleged that there had been a longstanding problem with illness at the hotel and yet Tour Operators continued to send customers to the hotel.

Due to the severity of her symptoms, Mollie was unable to leave her room and enjoy the facilities of the hotel and the beach, and as a result her holiday was totally ruined.
A claim was brought on behalf of Mollie May Cole against the tour operator, Travel City Direct and she recovered over £2,000.00 in compensation.

Molly’s mother, Tina Cole commented after the case, “I feel that Irwin Mitchell dealt with Mollie's claim very well because everything was explained to me in layman's terms rather than legal jargon which was extremely useful as I had never used a solicitor before, and they made it easy for me to understand how her claim was being dealt with.

I was also kept up to date with the progress of Mollie's claim, and was always made aware of what was happening."

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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."

Stephen, London