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Holiday Illness Claim

Gastric illness in Turkey leads to £1,375 compensation for holidaymaker, 63

A 63-year-old administration assistant from Cumbia has been granted damages following a severe bout of gastric illness sustained at a Turkish hotel in September 2009.

When she became ill, the holidaymaker and her family were staying at the Grand Cettia Hotel in Marmaris.

Our client's severe bout of diarrhoea, along with those of her immediate family and others staying at the hotel, were put down to the establishment's poor food and water hygiene standards.

Clean water helps avoid holiday illness abroad

Holiday was ruined

Since our client suffered persistent diarrhoea from the 7th day of a 14-night holiday, at least half the break was completely ruined.

"The rest of our client's family were also ill on the holiday, as well as many other people staying at the same hotel while they were there," Simpson Millar LLP's James Blower said.

The claimant was diagnosed as having suffered a gastric intestinal disorder by way of either viral, protozoa or a bacterial parasite – most likely cryptosporidium – ingested as a result of the consumption of contaminated food, drinking water and/or swimming pool water provided at the hotel.

Client had to work despite illness

James noted that although our client was severely ill, she was unable to take time off work once she had returned to the UK.

"The problem here was that the housing association for which she worked wouldn't pay for sick leave, so our client was forced to work while still suffering with diarrhoea and stomach cramps," James said.

36 breaches of Package Travel Regs

We wrote to Thomas Cook with a long list of terms from the Package Travel Regulations 1992 which we believed had been breached by the travel firm and its hotel associate.

"Among these were failing to ensure that reasonable care and skill were exercised in the preparation and presentation of food and drinks at the hotel, failing to eliminate the risk of bacterial infections and failure to train swimming-pool staff to follow a cryptosporidium action plan."

Dirty water on holiday causing illness at Grand Cettia Hotel in Turkey

Thomas Cook disputed full claim

After submitting a detailed letter of claim we initially heard nothing from Thomas Cook.

"However, once medical evidence had been submitted the firm admitted liability and we put forward a settlement offer," James said.

James added that the holiday company recognised it was at fault for the hotel's hygiene failures and our client's illness.

"But Thomas Cook still argued over the value of the claim. After a period of negotiating with the defendant we were finally able to agree a settlement for our client of £1,375."

Upset with travel firm

Our client, who expressed herself happy with our "pleasant and helpful" service, was upset that the family's holiday had been ruined. She was particularly angry with Thomas Cook for allowing people to stay at the hotel when the operator knew of a problem.

"Our client had taken this holiday with her family to enjoy a break following a worrying recent medical diagnosis relating to her grandson," James said.

"The compensation settlement went some way to help her recover some of the cost of a holiday for which she had spent a long time saving."

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