Broken table and Spanish hotel confusion leads to personal injury compensation claim
Simpson Millar is pursuing a personal injury claim on behalf of a Newcastle housewife following an accident at a Canary Isles hotel.
When the incident happened in July 2014 our client was with her husband and her sister-in-law’s family on their summer break: a £4,300 fortnight’s holiday at Broncemar Beach Resort in Caleta de Fuste.
This was the first time our client and her family had visited Fuerteventura, the 2nd largest of the Canary Islands and a popular summer destination for Britons.
But problems arose even before their arrival at the hotel, which was booked through Thomas Cook.
Hotel mix-up by travel firm from the word go
“We were first taken to the Barcello Castello Hotel: the hotel detailed on our booking form,” our client said.
“However, Thomas Cook told us there had been a mix-up and that we should have been taken to a different hotel. 5 hours later we were taken to the Broncemar Beach resort but Thomas Cook then told us we would be returning to the other hotel.
“We were finally told that the Barcello Castello Hotel was fully booked and we would have to stay at the Broncemar Beach after all.”
Injured returning from evening entertainment
On 13 July the family, finally settled after the earlier uncertainties, decided to try out the Broncemar Beach’s evening entertainment.
“As our client returned to her room at around 11.30pm she was suddenly hit by a broken table tennis table left negligently against a window,” Simpson Millar’s Claire Rabbetts said.
“Apparently the table had been taken out of service earlier that day. There were no warning signs, cordons, cones or anything else to warn guests of the potential danger.”
Lacerated ankle ruined holiday
“I looked down to see a laceration to my ankle and I was immediately in shock,” our client said. “My sister-in-law tried to help me as she saw the amount of blood and how much pain I was in. It was then that we realised that the table tennis table had come crashing down on my ankle.”
The mishap had caused the 54-year-old to suffer severe injuries to her right ankle, requiring immediate emergency medical treatment.
“My holiday was completely ruined. I couldn’t really do anything. My right lower leg was swollen and black and blue. If I went out I had flies attacking it which wasn’t very nice. I couldn’t put much weight on my right leg and I wore flip-flops all of the time as I couldn’t get any other shoes on.
“The swelling seemed to get worse during the holiday and I couldn’t touch the wound due to the pain it caused.”
With her symptoms remaining for long after the accident, our client required sutures internally and externally and her mobility was severely restricted.
On returning to the UK, our client was also obliged to remain in the care of medical professionals for wound dressings; a situation she found extremely inconvenient.
Lack of care
“Due to a lack of care from the holiday company’s representative, our client’s holiday was badly affected and she’s been left with scarring through no fault of her own,” Claire said.
“Had this been a small child the consequences could have been much worse. Both the hotel staff and Thomas Cook’s reps showed a marked lack of care in failing to remove the dangerous equipment when they were aware it was faulty.”
“Painful and worrying”
“My injury was extremely painful and worrying,” our client said. “I needed a lot of medical attention both abroad and at home and I have a noticeable scar on my ankle together with tenderness.
“During the evening before my accident I remember seeing a young child lying on a sunbed just below the table tennis table. The outcome could have been a lot worse had it fallen and hit this child’s head.”
Never again with Thomas Cook, says client
Our client concluded that she would not return to the Broncemar Beach following her needlessly “distressing” experience.
“It was not the hotel that we booked in the first place, yet Thomas Cook made a mess of our booking and we ended up there for the whole holiday. This also ruined my faith in Thomas Cook.”
Claire noted that the holidaymaker’s case remains ‘live’. “We are at medical evidence stage and the defendant is still within the protocol period, so we’ve some way to go before any potential settlement.”