Trial win against TUI after Nubian Island Hotel guests contracted gastric illness
After our clients suffered from a gastric illness resulting from consuming contaminated food at the Nubian Island Hotel in Egypt, they approached us for representation. It was revealed that they had concerns over the hygiene, highlighting that buffet food was left uncovered for long periods of time and was served lukewarm.
After a heated trial against TUI, they were awarded compensation in excess of £9,000.
The Nubian Island Hotel in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt
At the time that our clients booked their holiday advertised by the Nubian Island Hotel, which is situated in the once popular Sharm El Sheikh region of Egypt, was advertised on an all-inclusive basis by TUI-owned tour operator TUI. The hotel currently offers a selection of facilities and a range of restaurants, including a full restaurant-buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Holidaymakers contract gastric illness
Our clients were looking forward to an enjoyable holiday in Egypt, but they became unwell after consuming food at the hotel. They consumed food at the hotel for 5 days before suffering from symptoms of food poisoning akin to Gastroenteritis, including diarrhoea, vomiting and stomach cramps. For the first 48 hours, their symptoms were at their most severe, with our clients suffering 15 to 25 bowel movements in one day.
After their initial symptoms subsided, their condition persisted for another 3 weeks, with our clients continuing to feel unwell. One of our clients was suffering from a pre-existing Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) condition, however, the illness that they contracted on holiday exacerbated their condition, causing further discomfort even after our client returned to the UK.
Hygiene issues were identified by our clients, who stated that the catering staff did not wear hats or any sort of protective head gear. They informed us that birds were sighted inside the hotel restaurant itself and that they reported that the buffet food was being left uncovered for long periods of time, which arguably poses a massive health risk to the hotel’s guests.
Our clients food poisoning was so severe, that once they began to exhibit symptoms, they were confined to their rooms for the duration of their stay, leaving them unable to enjoy any of the hotel’s all-inclusive facilities that they had paid for.
TUI denies illness claims at trial
Our clients came to us in order to pursue a holiday compensation claim against TUI. TUI denied our client’s reports of illness every step of the way and released several documents to support their own claims that the hotel was free of health hazards. Cristal Hygiene Audits, food temperature records, swimming pool records, and staff training records were all made available to display the hotel’s high procedural standards.
While these documents did indeed show that the hotel had the proper policies in place, they also showed there were critical issues with food standards at the Nubian Island Hotel. This was supported by an Egyptian lawyer’s report, which stated the hotel’s food was in breach of Egyptian standards.
Holiday Illness claims are typically resolved before they reach court, but on this occasion, TUI refused to settle, and the claim was taken to court in order to investigate whether our clients illness was genuine.
TUI’s barrister attempted to bring our clients character into question, by drawing attention to minor inconsistencies between their witness statements and medical reports. The Barrister also grew quite aggressive, trying to make our clients statements appear false or disingenuous. In response, we questioned the critical deficiencies in the documents released by TUI and also queried the ones which they did not disclose.
Ultimately, the Judge did not believe that our clients lied about their illness and ruled that they became ill after consuming contaminated food at the resort. Subsequently, they were awarded nearly £9,500 in damages.
What is Gastroenteritis?
One of the most common forms of gastric illness is Gastroenteritis, and it’s commonly caused by a bacterial infection, usually contracted by consuming contaminated food, or through exposure to poor hygiene conditions.
Gastroenteritis is a condition that causes symptoms that can include diarrhoea, stomach pain, vomiting and a mild fever. You are also at risk of dehydration, especially if you suffer from this debilitating condition in a country with a hotter climate.
What should I do if I suffer a gastric illness on holiday?
If you suffer from a gastric illness abroad, it’s important to keep yourself hydrated, especially if you suffer from diarrhoea. If your symptoms persist for more than 24 hours or if they are particularly severe, then it’s important to visit a GP as soon as possible.
While you may prefer to wait until you can see a medical health professional of your own choosing, it is important to receive a professional diagnosis as soon as possible.
It should also be noted, that by visiting a GP abroad you can request stool sample tests which may shed some light on the cause of your condition, meaning that you can receive more effective treatment and hopefully make a faster recovery.
If you do see a medical professional while on holiday, be sure to keep any receipts of prescriptions that you’re provided with, and ask for a copy of your medical notes if they are available. If you are still ill when you get home, this information could benefit UK medical professions who continue your treatment.
You should also report your illness to the holiday representative at your hotel, as doing so may prevent other guests from getting ill as your hotelier takes steps to prevent a bacterial infection from spearing any further.
You may be able to claim composition
If you suffered from a gastric Illness on holiday, then you could have grounds to claim compensation under The Package Travel and Linked Travel Regulations 2018, provided your holiday was booked as part of an all-inclusive package deal.
Our team of travel law specialists offer a free no-obligation consultation, where they can advise you on how best to proceed with your case and whether you’re able to make a ‘no win no fee‘ compensation claim.