We helped a man secure £4,000 for Salmonella on Holiday
Our client went on an all-inclusive holiday at the RIU Palace resort in Playacar, Mexico with his partner, where flights, transfers and accommodation were all included in the price, and meals and drinks were provided on site. The hotel complex had several restaurants, including a main buffet and a poolside bar.
About 10 days into the holiday, he started suffering stomach pains and sickness, which developed into severe diarrhoea and occasional vomiting. He then spotted blood in his diarrhoea.
He decided not to take any medication for his symptoms, instead choosing to drink lots of water to try to flush out the sickness bug. Meanwhile, he carried on trying to enjoy his holiday, as he didn’t want to spoil it for his partner.
But his condition forced him to spend lots of time in his room, and he was going to the toilet 8 or 9 times a day. On top of this, he didn’t want to eat as he feared the consequences.
Our client and his partner hadn’t yet gone on any excursions, but had thought about doing so later on in their holiday. But given his condition, this wasn’t an option.
He chose not to report his symptoms to hotel staff or the tour operator rep, and hoped he would make a full recovery after returning to the UK and going back to normal foods. But this wasn’t the case, and he continued getting severe cramps and pulling pains in his stomach. In fact, his symptoms started getting worse as he was seeing more blood in his stools.
He decided to contact his GP, and after a stool sample was taken, he tested positive for Salmonella. It was just over 3 weeks after first becoming sick that he finally felt fully back to normal. But he wasn’t able to go to work during this time, which was costly as he was self-employed.
The sickness also affected other aspects of his life. For example, he was so drained by his Salmonella symptoms that he couldn’t take his son to football for several weeks, and while he didn’t weigh himself throughout this period, people started noting that his face looked a lot thinner, which suggests he lost some weight because of his Salmonella sickness. His experience has also put him off eating spicy food.
How We Helped
He blamed tour operator TUI for contracting Salmonella on holiday, as he never ate outside the hotel complex during his stay. He approached our team of Holiday Claims Solicitors for help claiming compensation, and Associate Solicitor James Blower took on his case.
James arranged for our client to undergo an independent medical examination and assessed the financial impact of his illness. This helped to calculate how much compensation our client may be entitled to from TUI.
James approached TUI, and in presenting the case argued that there were several food hygiene failings at the RIU Palace resort in Playacar that led to our client falling ill.
For example, the quality and temperature of the buffet food was variable, depending on what time people went to the restaurant, as some of it was lukewarm and had been left out for quite some time.
Our client also never saw a probe being used to check the temperature of the food while dining in the buffet. He also didn’t see any hand sanitisers being used by staff in any of the hotel restaurants, and pointed out that if they were there, their use wasn’t being encouraged.
The design of some of the eating areas was also found to be problematic. For example, while some of the restaurants were fully enclosed, the lunchtime buffet location had roofs but were open at the sides. This meant birds and insects could fly around inside the dining and food serving area, land on tables and take leftover food on plates. They would also go on the floor after food had been dropped.
James argued that since our client had only eaten food from the hotel during his holiday, food hygiene standards mustn’t have been acceptable for Salmonella to happen. TUI had a duty of care to make sure proper checks and inspections took place and so were liable (at fault) for his illness.
Following negotiations with TUI, we secured a total of £4,000 in compensation for our client. This helped to make up for the earning opportunities our client had missed out on while he was sick.
The compensation payout also helped to compensate him for the period of the holiday that was ruined by his illness, as the holiday had cost £5,000 in full.