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Swimming pool accident on holiday

Over £3,000 compensation following poolside injury at Greek hotel

A Leicester lorry driver whose Greek island holiday with his wife was ruined by a severe hotel poolside accident has been awarded compensation for his injuries.

Accident at Hotel in Greece

When the incident happened the couple were staying at La Marquise Hotel on Rhodes.

"Our client and his wife arrived on 29 June 2013," Simpson Millar's Paul Stevens said. "Although on checking in the couple were given no information about the room or the plunge pool, they continued to enjoy their holiday until 3 July."

Innocent holiday pleasure suddenly halted

On that afternoon the pair were in the private plunge pool area outside their room. "I decided to take a photograph of my wife from the far side of the pool," our client said. "I walked over to the side of the pool, not wearing any footwear as I was in and out of the pool.

"I stood with my right foot on top of a grille and my left foot to the side and slightly behind on the concrete surrounding the pool.

"I stood poised for a few seconds when I suddenly felt the grille under my right foot give way. My right leg dropped into the channel below."

Client lost his balance and fell

Unable to prevent his leg from becoming trapped 2 feet down into the channel, the 62-year-old lost his balance and fell backwards. The grille, which moments before had been supporting him, had broken into 3 pieces.

"I immediately felt pain in my shin," he said. "I thought I may have broken my leg. I had to remove an adjacent grille and pull up my right leg, which was bleeding. I could see a hole in my shin underneath a loose flap of skin. I also had cuts to my right toes."

Our client said the concrete grilles were little more than small slabs which could be easily picked up and moved. "They were not well fixed and didn't seem to fit securely enough."

Delayed response from hotel staff

"My leg had started to bleed profusely. My wife wrapped a towel around my leg and called reception for help, but there was no answer."

After a lengthy delay our client was seen by the hotel duty manager, who arranged for a doctor. Clearly badly injured, the holidaymaker was confined to the room for the rest of that day and overnight, during which time his leg continued to bleed.

"The following morning the bleeding hadn't stopped, but the doctor did exactly the same as before – put cream and a bandage over the wound.

"However, he did not inspect the hole in my shin, which was where the worst of the pain was coming from."

Swimming pool accident on holiday

"In constant pain"

In great pain and obliged to wear the bandage for the rest of the holiday, our client attended his own GP on the couple's return to Leicester.

"I had to see the practice nurse 6 more times," he said. "There was a big hole in my shin that needed time to heal."

The severity of the driver's wound badly curtailed his work. He was unable even to shower properly until his leg healed nearly 2 months later.

Repairs came too late – but grille was still dangerous

Paul Stevens noted that, shortly before the couple's return home, the hotel arranged for repairs to be made to the offending grille.

"According to our client it was not repaired properly," Paul said, adding that the same broken concrete was simply put back together. "He said it was like a jigsaw puzzle – it was even more dangerous."

Successful damages claim against operator

Having seen the ruin of an expensive holiday, our client was highly critical of the holiday firm TUI (UK) Ltd, from whom Simpson Millar successfully claimed compensation of £3,985.

"I blame Thomson for the accident at La Marquise," he said. "They should have made sure the plunge pool was safe to walk around and was structurally sound."

However, our client had nothing but praise for Simpson Millar's service. "Paul Stevens explained in detail every procedure. He was tenacious – a good, knowledgeable man."

Paul concluded: "This excellent outcome for our client shows that you need not be afraid of claiming compensation in Britain for personal injury, even if the accident happens abroad."

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