A man from Fife has successfully claimed £10,000 in damages from his tour operator for gastric illness suffered at a hotel in Egypt.
Mr T from Glasgow booked a holiday with his partner and friends to the AA Amwaj Hotel in Sharm El Sheikh. Within a few days of days of his arrival at the all-inclusive resort, he developed symptoms of sickness and diarrhoea which he continued to suffer from when he returned to the UK.
Angry that his holiday had been ruined he searched on line for a solicitor that could give him legal advice about making a claim against his tour operator and decided to instruct Holiday Law Specialists, Simpson Millar, to represent him.
The Claim was initially vigorously defended by Thomas Cook who themselves appointed a specialist travel law firm to represent them. In asserting that Thomas Cook was not liable they produced a "Certificate of Achievement" from the International Hygiene Consultancy Check Safety First in which the following was stated:
"This is to Recognise that:
AA Amwaj Hotel and Resort
"Has successfully implemented the Cristal Standard based on HACCP food safety management principles. The system is being managed on daily basis and is providing significantly reduced risk from food borne illness."
Despite this helpful evidence, they also disclosed the hotel doctor’s report in which it was confirmed that no less than 13 people had been stuck down with Traveller’s Diarrhoea – an infection that NHS Choices advise is associated with viruses, bacteria and parasites.
Put under sustained pressure from Simpson Millar LLP, Thomas Cook admitted liability for Mr T's illness. Simpson Millar LLP were able to obtain a medical report which confirmed that the continuing symptoms were due to post infective irritable bowel syndrome.
Following issue of proceedings, Thomas Cook sensibly agreed to an out of court settlement of £10,000, all of which went to Mr T.
Mr T felt that the outcome of his case was excellent and said of Paul Stevens, Simpson Millar’s Group Holiday Claims Manager:
"While I am pleased about the outcome of this case, my client should not have been exposed to the risk of traveller’s diarrhoea in the first place".
"Prevention of bugs that can cause traveller's diarrhoea or food poisoning can be achieved by following the basic principles of food hygiene that we follow in our own homes. Cooking and storing food to the right temperatures, removal of out of date food and regular hand washing with hot soapy water after handling raw meat are simple measure that hotels can adopt to prevent people becoming ill."
Mr T was able to claim compensation for his illness from Thomas Cook, even though his illness happened in Egypt because he booked a package holiday. Under the Package Travel Regulations holidaymakers can sue their UK tour operators for overseas accidents and illness even though they may not own operate the hotels that they send people to.
Simpson Millar can offer free legal advice about accidents and illness suffered on holiday to people from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
If you travelled on a regulated package holiday, The Package Travel Regulations 1992 make the tour operator liable if there is "improper performance" of the holiday contract. This essentially means that if you become ill and it is the hotel's fault, you can potentially claim compensation against the tour operator in the UK.
This is useful as it allows many cases to be pursued on "no win no fee" funding terms and makes the process easier than pursuing an Egyptian hotel using the Egyptian court system.
Many law firms claim to be "experts" in travel law but at Simpson Millar LLP, we have a dedicated team of holiday claims lawyers with experience of working for the tour operators that are ready to offer help and assistance and to pass on their knowledge and know how.
This means that if your claim is accepted, it will be pursued by somebody that knows travel and holiday law, knows the travel industry and has experience of pursuing claims against tour operators.
We pride ourselves in being straight talking and honest. If we cannot take on your claim, we will tell you and explain why. If we can take on the claim, we will let you know of any risks and explain funding arrangements in an open and clear way. No win no funding is widely available and this will be explained from the outset.
Get in touch for a chat about how we can help you by filling in our quick, no obligation enquiry form and we will call you back or you can call us directly on 0808 145 1353.