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Gastric illness at hotel in Turkey wrecks dual family celebration

A university technician from Nottingham has won £8,000 compensation from Thomas Cook following illness on holiday in Turkey.

The 51-year-old was struck down halfway into her 11-night all-inclusive break at the Voyage Belek Hotel, Kemer in September 2014.

The holiday had been arranged as a dual celebration: of our client's 50th and her daughter's 20th birthdays.

Simpson Millar LLP's Paul Stevens said the holidaymaker contracted a food poisoning-type illness that caused her to be hospitalised during her stay in Turkey.

"Our client suffered irritable bowel syndrome as a consequence of her illness," Paul said. "Typical symptoms were fever, stomach cramps, severe diarrhoea, aching legs, headaches, myalgia and general weakness."

1 week in – and felled by 'gastric illness'

The problems began 7 days into the holiday, when our client, feeling unwell, summoned a hotel doctor to her room. The doctor diagnosed a bacterial bowel infection and prescribed antibiotics and Buscopan.

However, our client still felt very weak and delirious and had difficulty standing. The hotel doctor was again contacted, who arranged for an ambulance to take her to a Kemer hospital.

At the hospital bacterial bowel infection was again diagnosed. Her blood pressure was low and she was dehydrated, requiring intravenous fluids. Our client's antibiotics were changed and she remained hospitalised for 2 more days.

Hotel hygiene was shoddy

Another blow was to come, however. When her husband arrived to collect our client from hospital, he suffered so serious an episode of diarrhoea he was admitted overnight.

"It seems that hygiene practises adopted by the hotel were at fault," Paul said. "Our client advised that she witnessed chefs preparing food without wearing gloves, cats were seen prowling around the hotel grounds near the restaurants and public toilets were not properly cleaned.


Soiled swimming pool did not help

"Our client also advised that there was evidence of significant faecal soiling, whereby the swimming pool area had been fouled by a toddler suffering diarrhoea."

The illness's knock-on effects to our client have been substantial. Apart from ruining a once-in-a-lifetime family birthday celebration, it caused her to cancel an expensive gymnasium membership due to her sudden enforced physical inability – only later was she in a position to renew it.

"I used to go to the gym 3 or 4 times a week," she sighed, "but for too long this was impossible."

Unique opportunity for family unity pulled away

Our client went on to say, "This was potentially the last family holiday together due to the ages of our client's children (20 and 18) so this was spoiled. For this reason and the overall severity of the illness, which could return, the compensation award of £8,000 against Thomas Cook was entirely just."

On Simpson Millar's service, our client said her representation had been "friendly and approachable" and she felt that the final result was "Excellent".

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