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£14,000 Compensation for Salmonella at Riu Touareg, Cape Verde

Author: Paul Stevens | Date: 13th December 2019

Our client went on an all-inclusive holiday with her partner to the Riu Touareg hotel in Boa Vista, Cape Verde, which was booked through Thomson Holidays. But one morning several days into her holiday, she fell ill with crippling stomach pain.

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As the morning went on, she started to suffer from diarrhoea, a sore throat, a bad headache and aches across her whole body. She took Imodium and Paracetamol, but these were ineffective and her symptoms continued. She tried to carry on enjoying her holiday, but her condition got worse, as she started developing flu-like symptoms, red eyes, back pain and loss of appetite.

As a result, our client couldn’t enjoy activities such as going to the beach, and was forced to stay by the pool just so she could be close to the toilet in her hotel room. Despite her symptoms, she was hopeful that her illness would only last for a few days, and therefore didn’t complain to her holiday rep or seek medical assistance.

However, her condition didn’t improve and she deteriorated rapidly on the flight back to the UK, when she was struck with severe vomiting and diarrhoea, stomach cramps and bloating. After returning home, she went straight to her doctor and provided stool samples.

These tested positive for Salmonella, and she was forced to take several weeks off work as a result of her illness, as she remained violently ill and in lots of pain. Her absence coincided with the Christmas period, the busiest time of year at her place of work, and she was forced to cancel festive lunches, meals and parties that had been paid for, as well as her plans for Christmas Day.

After returning to work, her symptoms meant she had to work from home several times a month for 6 months, which she believed led to her missing important meetings and professional development and promotion opportunities.

As she continued suffering with gastric problems, she was eventually booked in for a colonoscopy, which found she was suffering with Post Infective IBS. The condition and her various symptoms impacted severely on her social and family life, as she didn’t feel confident being in the car for any length of time or going out for meals and drinks with friends.

How We Helped

Our client believed food storage and preparation issues at the Riu Touareg’s buffet led to her illness, and therefore held Thomson Holidays responsible.

She approached our team of Holiday Claims Solicitors for help with claiming compensation, and Associate Solicitor Paul Stevens agreed to take on the case. Paul arranged an independent medical assessment for our client, so we could identify the likely causes of her illness, outline the impact it has had on her life and value her claim.

Our client told us that buffet food at the Riu Touareg was left out uncovered in the restaurant, and that she didn’t see staff probing the food to check the temperature at any stage.

She also pointed out that some of the hard boiled eggs she had at breakfast appeared to be undercooked. Significantly, she and her partner had largely eaten the same meals before she fell ill, with the exception of the boiled eggs, and he didn’t suffer any gastric problems.

We approached Thomson Holidays for suitable compensation, arguing that prior to the holiday, she had been fit and healthy, whereas her illness ruined her holiday and subsequently had a big impact on her life, both physically and mentally.

Indeed, our client noted that the second half of her holiday was ruined as a result of the illness, both for her and her partner, while her work and social life were affected after she returned home from Cape Verde, and continues to be today.

The Outcome

Thomson Holidays agreed to pay our client a total of £14,000 in compensation.

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