Ex-serviceman awarded £3,166 damages after illness wrecks silver wedding holiday
A 50 year-old from Hull has won compensation after falling ill with a gastric complaint at a hotel in Holguin, Cuba.
The former serviceman and his wife were celebrating their silver wedding anniversary at Playa Pesquero when illness struck in March 2014.
Infective gastroenteritis – most likely caused by consuming contaminated hotel food and/or drink
Stomach pains became cramps
5 days into the holiday on 26 March, the couple both became ill. “At first I was getting pains in my stomach which became bad cramps,” our client said.
Andrew Tarling added that the illness was due to the hotel’s general hygiene malpractice and the food and drink our client consumed while he was there
“Soon I was getting horrible diarrhoea, hot and cold shivers and bad headaches, and I felt lethargic.
“I couldn’t believe how it really hit me. It was also bad seeing my wife suffering just as much.”
All-inclusive package left no doubts
Our client noted the all-inclusive nature of the couple’s stay. “All our meals were taken within the hotel,” he said.
“I was surprised when going into the main buffet restaurant to find lots of birds flying around inside. They would land on the buffet and tables scavenging for bits of food and their droppings could be seen.”
He added that hotel staff “didn’t bother” with the birds, treating them as if they were “part of the furniture”.
“The food varied in quality and wasn’t always the hottest,” our client continued. “I like seafood and I tried the prawns and shrimps, but later discovered that they were left out all the time. They weren’t refrigerated and the birds would help themselves.”
Dirty swimming pool left uncleaned
Our client also observed that the hotel’s swimming pool, beside which the couple would frequently sit, was “dirty around the edges”.
“We would see drinks glasses that had been floating in the water since the previous day. Not once did I see [the pool] being cleaned.”
Thomas Cook’s rep was no help
Although our client’s wife reported the illness to Thomas Cook’s hotel rep and a report was completed, the couple heard nothing more during their stay.
“I’d hoped that once back in the UK I would get better, but I continued to be ill, which just isn’t me,” said the ex-serviceman, whose indisposition ruined a surprise party thrown by the couple’s daughter and continued for several weeks after the holiday.
Tour Operator accused
“I blame Thomas Cook and its hotel. I’ve no doubt I ingested something there that caused the illness.”
Medical report confirmed hotel at fault
Noting that “a significant number of other hotel guests were also affected by similar symptoms”, a subsequent medical report concluded that our client “suffered an acute gastroenteritis whilst staying at the Playa Pesquero Hotel. On the balance of probabilities this was the result of an acute bacterial or parasitic process”.
Andrew Tarling added that the illness was due to the hotel’s general hygiene malpractice and the food and drink our client consumed while he was there.
“This ruined a special holiday that can only come along every 25 years,” Andrew said. “For this reason and others it was important that Thomas Cook and the hotel it represents be held to account.”
£3166 settlement agreed
Our client expressed himself pleased with the part played by Simpson Millar in a successful claim
Client praised Simpson Millar
“From the initial query to the outcome we have been informed of every step,” he said. “The home visit was very welcome, swift and informative.”