A British holidaymaker has been awarded £6,010 following a fall at an Egyptian hotel in February 2013.
The tourist, 31 at the time of the accident, was staying in the Coral Sea Splash Resort in the Red Sea resort of Nabq Bay.
Whilst enjoying a 2-week holiday with his wife, their 2 children and his wife's parents, the father said the party had spent most of the fortnight in the hotel's water park.
"On 27 February at about 3pm, I was making my way to our sunbeds – I wanted a camera to take photos of our children on the slides," he said.
"I had to cross a bridge over the pool. I wasn't wearing shoes – the hotel had a policy of asking guests to remove footwear in that particular area.
"As I put my foot on the bottom step, my other foot slipped forward and I fell backwards, hitting my head on the ground."
Simpson Millar's Andrew Tarling said the holidaymaker was dazed. "Our client sat still and tried to regain his composure. All around him were puddles of water and the steps on the bridge were also wet."
Our client said that he saw blood on his hand after feeling his head. "By this time I was in a lot of pain," he continued. "My wife saw how bad my head was and immediately ran for a lifeguard. He and some colleagues helped me to the onsite clinic about 300 yards away."
At the clinic a doctor stitched the wound, applied bandages and prescribed antibiotics and painkillers, instructing our client to stay out of water and direct sunlight for fear of further infection and damage.
"Because of the prescribed medication I couldn't drink alcohol and I didn't feel like eating, which ruined the holiday," he said. "My young children were upset – they couldn't understand why I wasn't able to play with them in the water. I'd also been looking forward to snorkelling in the Red Sea.
"I had a constant headache for the rest of the holiday and pain and stiffness in my neck and back. In the end I just wanted to go home."
Our client noted that he was also obliged to pay a £50 insurance excess at the hotel reception.
After the incident the hotel manager insisted that our client state for the record that the fall was not the establishment's fault. "I didn't, in spite of being harassed," our client said. "I also completed a report for the Thomson rep, who unlike the manager gave me a copy."
On returning to the scene of the incident, our client saw at the foot of the steps what looked like newly-laid concrete. "This was smooth, although the rest of the area had a rough, non-slip surface. Later, signs warning of the wet floor appeared and staff were mopping up puddles of water every 20 minutes."
Back home in West Yorkshire, the pain to our client's neck and back lasted some 3 weeks, during which he was unable to play golf. His head remained tender for 6 months and he was left with a visible scar.
This was a difficult case, as Andrew Tarling explains: "The law obligates claimants to prove that injuries were caused by breaches of local standards – in this case, Egyptian.
"This is not an easy task. But in the right circumstances, and with the right representation, it's possible to bring those difficult cases which require a claimant to show a breach of foreign standards.
"Thomson denied liability throughout, arguing that it was for our client to obtain local standards evidence. The firm only agreed to settle once this had been obtained and it had been served with court papers."
Andrew added that it is important to acknowledge the vital role played by legal representation. "This played an absolutely critical part in enabling our client to obtain the evidence needed to prove his case, upon which a settlement of £6,010 was agreed."
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