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Legal 500 (2016)
Coach Crash in Peru
National law firm Irwin Mitchell were instructed by a group of British tourists who were involved in an accident in Peru on 16 May 2008, when the coach they were travelling on freewheeled down a mountain road after an apparent failure of the gearbox and brakes. A number of the tourists sustained physical and/or psychological injuries of varying degrees as a result of the accident. The tourists were on a tour with Exodus Travels, a tour operator based in London.
One of the clients said “The coach that was supplied for the segment of the journey from Puno to the Colca Canyon and on to Arequipa had faulty seatbelts and bald and damaged tyres. The journey to Arequipa was undertaken in snowy and icy conditions. The driver was having problems engaging gear and the coach struggled up all the hills, and we were easily overtaken by similar sized vehicles.
After reaching the summit of one climb, and starting down the downhill stretch, the driver tried for a considerable time to engage gear but the noise coming from the coach made it obvious that he was failing. It was then that it became evident there were also no brakes. We were literally freewheeling down a mountain road with an enormous drop on one side of us. The coach swerved from side to side of the road, eventually dropping into a gully on the wrong side of the road. The gully came to an end at a lay-by and the coach swerved into this. We then found ourselves heading towards a solid rock face. To avoid hitting it the driver then changed direction and we were sliding back across the road, heading towards the drop on the other side. The coach thankfully came to an abrupt halt in a gully at the side of the road.
We feel that our lives were endangered by the defects in the coach and we just hope that other passengers to this area of the world do not have to endure similar risks.”
Damages in excess of £10,000 were successfully recovered for all members of the Group.
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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