We helped a couple secure £18,000 for Food Poisoning on Holiday
Our clients booked a 2-week all-inclusive holiday for themselves and their 2 young children at the Sensatori Hotel in Sharm El Sheikh through tour operator TUI UK.
The family only ate food and drink that was supplied by the hotel on-site, but one night, the adults woke up suffering from symptoms including stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.
They spent most of the following day in their hotel room, as they both needed to stay close to the toilet, and they remained there for the most of the time afterwards, only leaving their room to get food and drink for their children.
Their illnesses ruined their holidays, as they couldn’t enjoy the hotel facilities properly and struggled to look after their 2 young children while suffering with their symptoms.
Our clients didn’t report their illnesses to the hotel staff or reps during their holiday, and didn’t complete any complaint forms or reports about their illness as they thought they would get through it.
But they continued experiencing symptoms after returning back to the UK, including severe stomach cramps and terrible diarrhoea. They provided stool samples to their GPs, so they could be tested for harmful strains of bacteria including helicobacter pylori, but the results were inconclusive.
Because of their continuing symptoms, the couple were both unable to return to work for several weeks. This proved costly for the family, particularly the father who had to pay someone else to run his business for several weeks.
How We Helped
The couple blamed TUI UK for their illness, as they believed food service and hygiene standards at the Sensatori Hotel weren’t satisfactory. They contacted our team of Holiday Claims Solicitors to make a holiday sickness claim against TUI, and Lawyer Andrew Tarling agreed to represent them.
Andrew arranged for our clients to undergo medical assessments from a Consultant Gastroenterologist, who prepared reports outlining their medical conditions.
Both claimants didn’t recover their full appetite and energy levels for 2 months following their acute gastroenteritis, and both continue to suffer symptoms of post-infective irritable bowels. As a result, they can no longer eat spicy food, as it aggravates the symptoms.
Although our clients hadn’t complained to the hotel or tour operator during their holiday, they did provide details of other guests who had also been struck by similar symptoms. This strongly suggested that their illnesses were caused by eating contaminated food and/or fluids provided by the hotel that wasn’t fit for human consumption.
Lawyer Andrew Tarling approach TUI with details of our holiday sickness claim outlining a host of failings at the Sensatori Hotel. These included:
- Leaving buffet food uncovered and exposed to flies for long periods of time
- Serving undercooked foods
- Serving foods at a lukewarm temperature
- Allowing birds to enter the restaurants and peck at leftover food
- Not storing cooked food appropriately
- Failing to handle or prepare food and drinks for guests with sufficient care
- Failing to cook meats and poultry adequately
- Not devising or implementing a proper system of food hygiene.
- Causing or permitting the Claimants to ingest harmful pathogens
- Failing to operate reasonable standards of hygiene generally
TUI meanwhile, had failed to:
- Done enough to monitor hygiene and cleanliness standards at the hotel
- Monitor the safety of food and drink provided to guests by the hotel
- Audit the hotel adequately or at all
Liability (fault) was defended robustly by TUI UK over several years. But a compensation settlement was achieved shortly before the case went to Trial.
Our clients were awarded a total compensation settlement of £18,000. This compensated them for the cost of their holiday, which had been ruined, and other expenses such as the cost of keeping a business going.
The settlement also reflected the emotional impact of their illness, such as the distress of managing gastric symptoms for several months, and being forced to miss out on social engagements, including a big family gathering our clients weren’t fit to attend.
TUI UK’s payout also considered the fact that their holiday illness had a lasting impact on our clients’ lives. For instance, they still can’t eat spicy food as it triggers stomach and bowel problems, which means they can’t eat out as often as they used to.