£7,000 compensation settlement against TUI following accident at “hostile” hotel
Simpson Millar has secured compensation for a Kent holidaymaker following a hotel accident in Turkey in August 2013.
Our client was holidaying with his wife at the all-inclusive Aegean Dreams Resort in Turgutreis, a popular destination on the Bodrum peninsula.
A rare break together…ruined
“My wife’s ex-husband was getting remarried, so with their children attending the wedding it gave my wife and I a rare opportunity to have a holiday together,” our client explained. “We decided to go to the Aegean Dream as we’d spent our honeymoon there.”
On 1 August the Bexleyheath couple, who had arrived at the resort just a few hours before, were preparing for dinner when our client sustained a bad accident in the bathroom shower.
“When I had finished I went to open the door when suddenly the glass shattered and fell in on me,” he said. “I had sustained a 4cm wide laceration to my right arm and deep cuts to both my hands and backs of my legs.”
Doctor “shocked” by blood
He added that the attending hotel doctor, who prescribed stitches, was “visibly shocked” at the volume of blood.
Simpson Millar’s Simon Lomax said that part of the frame had come away and glass had dug into the base of his thumb. “With the glass all over the floor, our client also sustained cuts to both feet. The broken glass had blocked the drain, so bloodstained water was coming up into the shower pan.”
Little support from tour firm
Simon noted that while the hotel’s medical assistance was relatively prompt, the tour company’s helpline had been less than supportive.
“Our client’s wife phoned the TUI helpline to advise them of the incident, but was left on hold for so long – about 10 minutes – that she had to put the phone down, preferring to tend to her husband.”
Unhelpful reception staff
Although our client praised the attentiveness of staff at the hotel’s in-house medical centre, the 44-year-old was less impressed by its reception personnel.
“[Following medical treatment] we went to the desk and asked them to move us to another room, but they weren’t very helpful,” he said. “The doctor told them to move us and they agreed to do so.
“We went back to our room to pack and then had to carry our cases to our new room as no help was offered. While doing this my hands started to bleed again.”
Reps unaware – hotel managers uninterested
The following morning the couple met the tour firm’s representatives, who expressed themselves unaware of the incident. “Our clients also saw the guest relations manager, who said the hotel manager was out of town until Sunday 4 August,” Simon said. “She was unable to comment until she had spoken to him.”
When the couple finally met the general manager, they “endured an incredibly uncomfortable meeting”.
“The manager’s attitude was frankly hostile,” our client said. “We received no apology or empathy for what had happened and he insisted that it was not through any fault of the hotel.”
The managers refused to admit responsibility even after our client, who is manager of a builders’ merchant, demonstrated that a fault with the shower door had been the cause of the accident.
“We came to no final agreement, and the hotel seemed content to forget about the incident.”
Our client added that one of the TUI reps said she had also encountered difficulties with the hotel manager.
Others hurt at the same time
Our clients were not alone in being hurt and inconvenienced at the hotel, Simon said. “While they were there a woman tripped on a paving slab and broke her ankle. Another man had a fall.”
Our client’s injuries were painful enough to ruin the rest of the holiday, which had cost £2428.75, and the couple were relieved to return home.
“As time went by my cuts healed, but I still have a 40mm scar to my forearm which is white and stands out against my brown arm,” he said. “I also have a small scar to my right thumb which is still quite noticeable.”
Holiday firm was liable
Simon wrote to TUI (UK) Ltd, the hotel’s UK agent, alleging a number of breaches of the Package Travel Regulations 1992.
“Clearly the personal injuries sustained by our client were avoidable had TUI and/or the hotel exercised all due care. In due course we agreed a settlement of £7,000.”
Unsure at first – but praise for Simpson Millar
Initially our client was uncertain whether to proceed. “I have always been sceptical of ‘no win, no fee’ cases,” he said. “But my experience with Simpson Millar has completely changed my view. [I’m] totally satisfied.
“Simon was professional, knowledgable and empathetic from the start – I’d recommend [Simpson Millar] to anyone.”