Category: Other Locations

£1,400 Compensation for Salmonella on Holiday

We helped a man secure £1,400 for Salmonella on Holiday

Our client paid nearly £1,800 for a holiday at the RIU Touareg Hotel in Boa Vista, Cape Verde for a winter sunshine break with his girlfriend.

Before booking the all-inclusive holiday, they went on TripAdvisor to read guests’ reviews and saw largely positive comments about the hotel. They arrived happy, relaxed and in good spirits, and enjoyed most of their holiday as planned.

But on the final day, our client woke up feeling ill, suffering with painful stomach cramps and regularly needing to use the toilet. Since it was the last day, he chose not to report his illness to the holiday rep, on the assumption that he probably had a 24-hour bug that would clear up once he got back to the UK.

However, he started suffering with severe diarrhoea and nausea when he arrived at the airport. He chose not to eat anything on the flight, but his symptoms continued to deteriorate on his journey home.

The severe diarrhoea carried on over the weekend, and he was alarmed when he started noticing blood in his stools. He went to see his GP who carried out a stool sample test, which tested positive for a Salmonella infection (salmonellosis).

He recovered from the infection without taking any medication, but during his illness and recovery time, he ate and drank very little, and when he did eat, he could only face dry, bland foods. Because of this, he lost more than a stone in weight.

He was also unable to return to work due to his Salmonella symptoms, which affected his income as he was self-employed.

How We Helped

Our client had booked the holiday with TUI – and believed they were responsible for his illness. He contacted our Holiday Claims Solicitors for help to claim compensation for Salmonella on Holiday from the tour operator, and Associate Solicitor James Blower took on his case.

James and his team calculated our clients’ financial losses and arranged for a medical assessment of his condition, so we could calculate how much compensation he could be entitled to, and then put this amount to the tour operator.

In presenting the case, James argued that TUI had failed in its duty to provide a safe environment and that the 5-star all-inclusive hotel’s restaurants caused his illness. Our client highlighted a number of shortcomings with food serving areas, including:

  • Tables in the buffet restaurant not always being clean
  • Tables and chairs not being cleaned with antibacterial spray by any member of staff
  • Pre-cooked food being left uncovered and open to the elements, where it quickly cooled down
  • Members of staff bringing hotter food from the kitchen and putting it on top of the remaining colder food
  • Guests using the same serving utensils on different foods, increasing the possibility of cross-contamination
  • The same cooking utensils being used on both raw and cooked chicken, creating another cross-contamination risk
  • Food handlers not using temperature probes on hot food to see if they were cooked correctly
  • Guests touching loaves of bread with their bare hands to slice it, rather than using a cloth to cover them
  • Catering staff not wearing hats, hairnets or gloves
  • Flies crawling over uncovered foods, tables, glasses, crockery and cutlery

Our client also observed that some of the chicken and turkey he ate at the hotel hadn’t been cooked properly and was still pink in the middle when it was served to him. But he thought this could have been the standard of food in Cape Verde and so he made do without complaining.

He only ate and drank in the RIU Touareg Hotel complex prior to his illness, which meant all his meals on holiday were prepared in the hotel’s kitchens. On top of this, he hadn’t been suffering with any illnesses before going on holiday. As a result, he was confident that the hotel food had been the source of his Salmonella infection.

Our client also told us that were wider hygiene issues in the rest of the hotel complex, in particular the swimming pool. For example, he never saw the pool being cleaned or any member of hotel staff adding anything to the water to purify it.

He also observed broken, cracked and missing tiles in and around the swimming pool area, while sunbeds would be collected in the evening without being hosed down.

Our client described the quality and standards in the 5-star RIU Touareg Hotel as “far from satisfactory”, with the food in particular being “inferior”.

James approached the tour operator with the information we had gathered to negotiate for a compensation settlement on our client’s behalf.

The Outcome

Following negotiations with TUI, a compensation settlement of £1,400 was agreed.

This amount of compensation reflected factors including the period of the holiday that was ruined by his illness, the pain and suffering he experienced, and the fact he couldn’t go back to work for some time because of his ongoing Salmonella symptoms.

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

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

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.

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.

£10,000 Compensation for Accident at Portugal Holiday Hotel

£10,000 Compensation for Accident at Portugal Holiday Hotel

Our client was enjoying a holiday at the Vila Gale Marina Hotel in Vilamoura, Portugal when she fractured her wrist in a fall at the hotel reception.

She was walking along a marble floor in the reception area, but the surface was still wet after being recently cleaned, and she slipped and fell. As a result, she had to undergo X-rays at the local hospital in Faro, which found that her wrist had been badly broken and that pins would have to be inserted.

A general anaesthetic was administered and she underwent the operation that was required. However, her fingers were so swollen that her wedding ring couldn’t be removed and had to be cut off instead.

How We Helped

After returning to the UK, she got in touch with our team of Holiday Claims Solicitors to claim compensation from tour operator Thomas Cook.

The tour operator’s legal representatives denied responsibility at first, and said our client would have to prove that Portuguese health and safety standards hadn’t been met. We responded by arguing that yellow warning signs should have been displayed after the hotel reception area was cleaned.

Furthermore, we pointed out that light from the windows created a reflection that was hidden from our client’s view, therefore making the floor even more dangerous.

Thomas Cook refused to acknowledge that not displaying warning signs in the reception area represented a breach of Portuguese health and safety standards. However, Our Holiday Claims Solicitors stressed that the issue of safety standards wasn’t solely based on whether local rules or technical building codes had been followed.

We insisted that questions of local custom and practice also needed to be considered, as did the general principles of local law that outline what standards can reasonably be expected in a holiday hotel. Since Thomas Cook denied liability, the case went to Court.

The Outcome

The tour operator eventually agreed to settle, awarding our client £10,000 plus legal fees. Thomas Cook could have paid out considerably less in legal fees if they’d chosen to deal with our client’s claim straight away, but thankfully, the delay didn’t lead to our client losing out.

£6,800 awarded to bar patron in France who suffered facial burns

£6,800 awarded to bar patron in France who suffered facial burns after a pyrotechnics display went wrong

A fireball started a chain reaction that resulted in our client suffering burns to his face during a pyrotechnics display at a bar in France, but following our representation, he was awarded £6,800 in compensation. In this case study, we’ll explain what happened and why you may be entitled to compensation.

Fireball starts chain reaction in the Smouth Bar

Our client was in the Morzine region of eastern France when he decided to visit a venue called Smouth Bar. At around 11 pm, the bar staff began squirting lighter fluid onto the bar taps and setting it on fire. Unfortunately, they didn’t stop there.

They proceeded to squirt lighter fluid on the ceiling and igniting it, before a member of the bar staff took a mouthful of spirit that he lit it as he spat it out, creating a fireball.

Although this display of showmanship may have been impressive, the fireball ignited the ceiling, and some of the lit fluid fell onto our client’s face. As a result of this, our client’s face was burned, leaving our client in a lot of pain.

Lack of risk assessment carried out by bar staff

It became clear that this case would need to be assessed on local standards, and during our investigation, we found that the bar staff at the Smouth Bar had failed to make an adequate risk assessment.

We also found that inadequate warnings were given to the patrons of the bar, including notification of the potential risks attending such a show may pose. It was clear that not enough was done to ensure that our client, or any other patrons at the Smouth Bar, would be safe while the pyrotechnics display was being performed.

£6,800 in compensation awarded

After instructing us to represent him, we found that the staff at the Smouth Bar in Morzine breached several Civil Codes, and as a result of our client’s personal injuries, losses and damages, he was successfully awarded £6,800 in compensation.

What to do if you suffer a holiday burn

Although this isn’t a situation that you may find yourself in, you may still be at risk of a holiday burn or scalding. Many self-catered holiday accommodations include some sort of cooking or heating equipment, and if adequate health and safety standards aren’t followed, you could suffer a holiday ruining burn or scald that could have been prevented.

If you do suffer a burn or are scalded, it’s important to act quickly. We recommend seeking out advice from a medical practitioner, but you might find that you’ll receive the following advice:

  • Distance yourself from the cause of your burn or scald.
  • Remove any hot, smouldering or burned material. You may find that the material will stick to your skin, and if this happens, don’t try to remove it and cut around the affected area instead.
  • Remove any tight clothing or jewellery, as burned or scalded skin can swell.
  • Cool the burn using lukewarm water (try to avoid using cold water) from a running tap, or alternatively, immersing your wound.
  • Keep warm. This might seem counter-intuitive, but you may be at risk of hyperthermia if your burn or scald is severe.
  • Protect your wound by covering it with cling film or a clean plastic bag.
  • If you’ve sustained a burn to your face; avoid lying down.

Receiving advice from a medical practitioner is often time sensitive, so try to speak to someone as soon as possible. If your burn is larger than your hand, your skin has gone white or you’ve sustained a burn to your face or extremities or genitals that has blistered, it’s advisable to go to an emergency medical centre.

Advice on burns and scalds can be found on the NHS website.

£15,000 following accident in hazardous conditions

Cruise passenger awarded £15,000 following accident in hazardous conditions

After a cruise accident resulted in our client suffering a dislocated shoulder and a fractured humerus, we found that health and safety process on the Marco Polo that could have prevented her injury were not being followed. As a result of our representation, our client was awarded £15,000 in compensation.

Cruise accident caused by hazardous conditions

Our client advised us that she booked a cruise aboard the Marco Polo through Cruise and Maritime. She says that everything was going well until a few days into her journey when the Marco Polo encountered rough seas. She says that the ship began to roll and list to the extent that items were thrown from the tables of the restaurant area during breakfast.

She told us that despite the hazardous conditions, there were no announcements informing passengers of which safety procedures they should follow. Because there was no advice given, later that day our client went to a bar so that she could read her book. While sat at a table, the Marco Polo began to roll and our client was thrown from her chair. As a result of her accident, our client dislocated her left shoulder and sustained a fracture to the greater tuberosity of her humerus.

After the accident occurred, an announcement was made on the cruise liner that the bar our client was in was unsafe and should be avoided.

Investigation shows that health and safety processes were lacking

Once our client instructed us to represent her, we began to investigate her case to assess why her accident wasn’t prevented. We found that passengers weren’t notified of the risks that the impending conditions that the ship was about to face would pose.

It’s clear that the passengers should have been notified that the poor weather conditions would make certain areas of the Marco Polo unsafe and that they should return to their cabins, potentially bracing themselves for the impact of the waves hitting the ship.

We also found that the chairs being used in the bar that our client was reading her book in were prone to toppling over in rough seas. Put simply, not enough was done to assess the impending risks and to warn passengers until it was too late.

£15,000 compensation awarded

Our client’s injuries were severe, and although they healed, she was left with a stiffness that will limit her movements indefinitely. In representing our client, we found that her injuries could have been prevented if more effective health and safety measures were implemented aboard the Marco Polo, something which Cruise and Maritime should have ensured was being done.

Because of the pain and suffering that our client endured and the lasting impact that the accident will have on her quality of life, under the Athens Convention she was awarded £15,000 in compensation.

About the Athens Convention

The Athens Convention is a powerful piece of legislation that is intended to protect passengers on cruise ships, so long as their journey is classified as an international carriage by sea. For this to happen, a cruise liners port of departure needs to be different from its destination, or as is the case for many cruises, there needs to be a port of call in a country other than the one it departed from.

So long as this is the case, it’s the responsibility of the carrier you hold a contract with, which for our client was Cruise and Maritime, to ensure that you are kept safe from the point of embarkation until disembarkation, otherwise they could be liable for your injuries. In simple term, this means that if they fail to address hygiene issues and you suffer from food poisoning, or if you’re injured during an accident aboard a cruise that could have been prevented, you may be able to claim compensation.

Find out if you can claim compensation

It only takes a few minutes to find out if you’re able to claim compensation under the Athens Convention. Just contact a member of our travel law team and we’ll provide you with a free no-obligation assessment of your case, during which we can advise you of which methods are available to you to pursue a complaint.

If you choose to instruct us to represent you in making a compensation claim, we can do so on a ‘no win no fee‘ basis.

£19,000 after our client sustained serious injuries to her arm

£19,000 settlement for holidaymaker injured at the Hotel Bristol in Italy

We recently settled a holiday accident case for £19,000 after our client sustained serious injuries to her arm following a slip and fall on wet bathroom tiles at the Hotel Bristol in Sorrento, Italy.

The Hotel Bristol in Sorrento

The Hotel Bristol is located in Sorrento, which is in the Campania region of Italy. Currently advertised by TUI-owned tour operator TUI as a family-run and elegantly styled holiday destination, the Hotel Bristol appears to have a lot to offer British tourists.

Wet floor results in wedding holiday disaster

Our client travelled to the Hotel Bristol for a wedding, making this a very special holiday. During her stay, the Sorrento region experienced heavy rainfall, which began affecting the hotel the night before her accident, as water leaked into the hotel and members of the hotel staff tried to mop it up.

During the storm, it appears that water entered our client’s bathroom through a waste outlet on the floor, as well as through the bathroom ceiling. On the morning after the storm, our client woke up and went to the bathroom, upon which she slipped and fell on floor tiles that had become wet in the night, resulting in a painful injury.

She informed a member of staff at the Hotel Bristol, and after the hotel manager visited her room, she was provided with transportation to the local hospital.

Hospital treatment for holiday injuries

The hospital advised her that she had suffered multiple fractures to the top of her left arm and may have displaced her ball socket. She decided that rather than receiving surgical attention abroad, she would have her injuries looked into when she returned to the UK and was subsequently provided with a sling and collar. After several enquiries, she was advised that she would be safe to fly home.

Upon her return to the UK, she visited her local hospital and was x-rayed, upon which she was informed that she had fractured her left proximal humerus, her left humeral neck and greater tuberosity, essentially confirming the damage that the Italian medical professionals had suggested that she had suffered.

Consequences of accident

Our client advised us that following her injury she had to rely heavily on her partner for routine tasks, as she was unable to carry them out herself. She informed us that she was unable to return to work, and since her initial injuries have healed, she has had reduced mobility and strength in her arm, meaning that she is now unable to perform tasks that she was previously able to, including interacting with younger members of her family.

£19,000 for accident abroad

Following her injury, our client instructed us to represent her, and as a result of the severity of her injuries and the financial impact that her accident had on her life, her case was settled for £19,000.

What to do if you have an accident

If you have an accident on holiday and believe that you may have been seriously injured, it’s vital to seek out treatment from a medical practitioner as soon as possible. The easiest way to achieve this is to notify a member of staff at your hotel or your tour operator representative, who should be able to get you the help that you need, whether it’s a case of arranging for an on-call doctor to visit or resourcing transportation to the nearest medical centre or hospital.

The extent of your injuries might not be immediately obvious, and treatment from a medical practitioner early on might prevent any further damage that could be caused by your accident.

It’s advisable to take pictures of the cause of your accident as soon as possible. Most responsible hoteliers will act quickly to rectify the cause of an accident to prevent it from happening again. If you believe that you might need to claim compensation, whether due to a loss of income or any out of pocket expenses that you might have incurred, it’s prudent to take a few pictures or record video as close to the time of your accident as possible, ideally before the problem is fixed.

Find out if you can make a claim

If you’ve been involved in an accident on holiday, you might be entitled to claim compensation. A member of our travel law team can provide you with a complimentary no-obligation consultation, during which we can advise you of the best method to pursue a claim, including whether we can represent you on a ‘no win no fee‘ basis.

£13,000 for fractured hip due to unsafe flooring

£13,000 awarded to holidaymaker who fractured hip in accident on cruise ship

After our client was seriously injured in an accident that could have been prevented on a cruise ship, we have successfully settled their compensation claim for £13,000.

Fractured hip due to unsafe flooring and storm

Our client was aboard a cruise ship when adverse weather conditions caused by Hurricane Gonzalo caused the ship to lurch to one side, throwing our client off balance. While some unsteady movement on a cruise ship can be expected from time to time, in this instance, the storm caused the ship to pitch and roll far more than it usually would have, and our client tripped on a join between an inset mosaic and the carpet, causing her to fall on her right-hand side.

It’s arguable that the captain endangered the passengers of the cruise ship by taking the ship out of the sheltered waters situated closer to the coast and into deeper waters, during what was forecasted as a particularly violent storm. It’s since been reported that our client was not alone in being affected by an accident, as several other passengers were also injured.

As a result of her fall, our client was in great pain and believed that she had broken a bone, but as there was not an X-ray machine aboard the cruise ship to ascertain if this was the case, she had to spend the rest of the cruise in pain, before a medical practitioner could assess her wound.

She was admitted to the hospital upon her arrival to the UK, where it was determined that she had sustained an intracapsular NOF fracture, otherwise known as a fractured hip, which would require an operation to rectify. After the accident, our client was left with limited mobility and required the use of a walking frame to get around. She was also advised that she would require on-going physiotherapy.

£13,000 compensation following Hurricane Gonzalo

Our client instructed us to make a compensation claim under the Athens Convention, and we put forward that the ship’s master shouldn’t have sailed from Belgium to Holland under the weather conditions that were forecast. Arguably, the ship should have remained in port until conditions improved and alternative travel arrangements should have been made to get the passengers to Holland.

The defendant denied liability on the grounds that the anticipated weather was not particularly unusual, despite articles in the press speculating that the storm was one of the worst to hit the area in years. They also argued that the weather at the time of the accident was worse than what was forecast, which is why the cruise ship was caught up in the rolling seas which led to our client’s accident.

After obtaining the shipping forecasts from the Met Office that would have been available to the ship’s master, we discovered that they should have been aware that winds were expected to be severe, reaching gale force 9 for their proposed journey, which under the Beaufort Scale is considered to cause high waves. We argued that these conditions were far from usual, but the defendant continued to deny liability.

Because of this, we made further enquiries on behalf of our client, speaking to a Marine Consultant and Surveyor who provided formal expert evidence; during which he agreed that the cruise ship shouldn’t have sailed in the conditions that it did. After some deliberation, the defendant made concessions and the claim was settled for £13,000.

Seek medical assistance and gather evidence if you’ve been injured

If you’ve been injured on holiday by an accident that could have been prevented, whether at a holiday resort or on a cruise ship, then you could be entitled to claim compensation.

Although you’ll likely be focused on your injury at the time of your accident, it’s advisable to gather as much evidence as you can. Doing so may help with any future medical treatment that you receive, and the evidence that you put together could support your compensation claim if you choose to make one.

Useful evidence can include video or pictures of the cause of your accident, medical notes detailing your condition and the treatment that you’ve received so far, and prescriptions and receipts for any medication or healthcare that you have received. Be sure to retain receipts that prove any medical expenses that you have incurred, as you may be able to recoup these costs.

Passenger sustains injuries from luggage falling from overhead locker on airplane

Passenger sustains injuries from luggage falling from overhead locker on airplane

Simpson Millar is pursuing a claim against Singapore Airlines after a bag containing books fell from the overhead locker landing directly onto the passenger’s head whilst returning from her holiday with family.

Our client felt the full force of the bag on her head. Since the incident she has suffered from headaches and requires dental treatment due to the impact. She states that the accident has really put a dampener on the holiday and her memories.

Montreal Convention 1999

Accidents on aircrafts are governed by the Montreal Convention 1999 and, as long as the accident involves countries who are signatories to the Montreal Convention, then the passenger has a choice of where they want to bring their claim.

This can include their country of residence, where the flight was going to or the country where the airline is based. Under this convention, an injured person only has 2 years in which to make a compensation claim whereas usually it is 3 years for Personal Injury claims in the UK.

Liability

It also imposes strict liability on the air carrier which means it is not always necessary to prove fault even if the accident is the fault of another passenger, or no one is at fault.

Therefore, so long as the accident happened and this resulted in the injury whilst embarking, disembarking, or on the aircraft a claim should result in compensation. However, under the Montreal Convention there are liability limits set in Special Drawing Rights (SDR). This is capped at around 113,000 special drawing rights. After this there needs to be proof that the airline was negligent in order to be successful.

What constitutes an ‘accident’ on an aircraft?

In order to classify the event as an accident it has to fulfil the criteria of being an injury caused by an external event caused by something unusual or unexpected. It cannot arise from the passengers own internal reaction to the usual, normal and expected operation of the aircraft. Typical examples include items falling from an over-head locker, aeroplane crash, spillage of a hot drink or a slip on a spillage.

Singapore airlines have accepted liability for proven bodily injury in this case. We are currently preparing medical evidence in order to prove the injuries sustained. We therefore have some way to go before we reach settlement in this case.

If you have had an accident whilst on an aircraft we would be interested to hear from you, as you may be entitled to compensation for the injuries sustained.

Kent lady cruises to £5,500 compensation victory for cabin injury

Kent lady cruises to £5,500 compensation victory for cabin injury

A lady travelling with her sister and her children on board the MSC cruise ship Armonia has successfully sued the cruise line company and obtained £5,500 in compensation for the injuries she suffered following an accident that occurred in her cabin.

Mrs L was getting dressed on the second morning of the cruise to go on an excursion. As she was getting her clothes from the wardrobe the wardrobe door suddenly fell from its hinges and struck Mrs L’s left wrist.

Mrs L suffered a significant and long lasting injury to her left wrist and sought help from Simpson Millar’s travel team to pursue the cruise line company MSC for compensation for the injury she had suffered.

Athens Convention

The Athens Convention governs incidents that occur on board a ship which stipulates a shorter limitation period of two years

Case against MSC Cruises

Senior Holiday Claims Solicitor, James Blower took on the case for Mrs L against MSC Cruises. He commented, “Due to time limitations, this meant that the claim has to be run more efficiently and quickly.”

“The onus was on the cruise line company to prove that they had an adequate and reasonable system of inspection and maintenance of the cabin furniture in place. On this occasion they chose not to disclose any documentation and looked to settle the matter amicably. The only thing left to decide was the value of the claim.”

Efficient Handling

Mrs L described the service she received from Simpson Millar as, “Pleasing and very efficient.”

Mrs L commented that James Blower handled the case, “Very efficiently and was able to address any concerns. I would recommend Simpson Millar to anyone looking to make a holiday compensation claim.”

Holiday accident compensation claims

In order to pursue your tour operator for a holiday ruined by illness or injury the holiday needs to have been booked as a package meaning your flights, transfers and accommodation have been sold to you for one all-inclusive price.

If you have had an accident or illness abroad and suffered as a result then Simpson Millar’s specialist travel law team can help you pursue a claim for compensation on ‘No Win, No Fee’ terms.

Injured holidaymaker receives £10,000 following slip and fall

Injured holidaymaker receives £10,000 from Thomas Cook following slip and fall

A young woman from Doncaster whose holiday to the Vila Gale Marina Hotel in Vilamoura, Portugal, was spoilt when she slipped and fell in reception sustaining a fracture to her wrist has been awarded £10,000 compensation from Thomas Cook.

Solicitors acting for Thomas Cook initially denied liability stating that our client was required to prove an improper performance of the holiday contract as judged by local health and safety standards in Portugal.

Accident Claim Against Thomas Cook

Simon Lomax Simpson Millar’s Holiday Accident manager said, “My client slipped on a marble floor which had been left wet by maids cleaning in the morning. Whilst I accept that there is no negligence in cleaning, the hotel’s maid should have displayed yellow warning signs.”

“The floor was cleaned and then abandoned by the maids as they moved on to carry out their additional duties. Light from the windows also created reflection on the tiles resulting in a hazard which was hidden from my client’s view.”

“She slipped and fell sustaining a broken wrist which required an operation under general anaesthetic at a local hospital in Faro.”

My client said, “After having the x-rays, they confirmed that I had badly broken my wrist and it would require pins to be inserted. I was upset because my fingers had swollen so much that they couldn’t remove my wedding ring, so they had to cut it off.”

Local Health and Safety – Warning Signs

In order to save expense, I asked Thomas Cook solicitors to “admit in open correspondence that hotel cleaners who fail to display warning signs following floor cleaning would breach local health and safety standards in Portugal.” I felt the issue was obvious and that the tour operator was hiding behind a technical argument to avoid paying compensation to my client for her injuries.

Travlaw, acting for Thomas Cook said, “Your client has provided no evidence to show that the hotel failed to perform its obligations with reasonable skill and care”. Thomas Cook solicitors continued to say that she had “not provided evidence to suggest that any local standards have been breached despite clear guidance for claimants established in Holden v First Choice.”

Simpson Millar Instruct Portuguese Lawyer at Substantial Cost

We advised the tour operators solicitors that, “The issue of local safety standards is not simply confined to asking whether there has been compliance with local regulations or technical building codes.”

“The enquiry was much wider, and that they were required to consider questions of local custom and practice, and general principles of local law which set the expected standards of reasonable hotelier.”

Reasonable behaviour of hotel employees

The evidence we obtained supported the fact that reasonable behaviour of hotel employees mopping wet floors in a public place in Portugal would be to display warning signs whilst the floor was slippery.

Court Proceedings Issued and Served on Thomas Cook

Court proceedings were subsequently issued and Thomas Cook transferred its file to another firm of solicitors who sensibly decided to settle the claim for £10,000 plus solicitors costs before costs escalated further.

Simon continued to say, “If the tour operator had dealt with the claim at the outset, substantial savings could have been made in the costs associated with pursuing the claim. All too often tour operators and/or their solicitors fail to a take a pragmatic view and defend claims were there have been obvious failings.”

Our client expanded up this statement saying Simpson Millar were, “very helpful and preserved with my claim and I would like to thank everyone who has been involved with my claim.”