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Watchdog Investigates Illness at First Choice’s Red Sea Holiday Village

Simpson Millar’s solicitors have been instructed by nearly 100 customers of First Choice Holidays who have returned from the Red/Coral Sea Holiday Village in Egypt following BBC Watchdogs investigation into claims of mass illness at the Hotel.

Holiday Hotel Watch

Many more holidaymakers made enquiries but appear content to accept compensation made directly by First Choice as it contacts customers expediently in an apparent attempt to avoid bad publicity.

Simon Lomax, Simpson Millar’s Holiday Illness Manager says:

“We have now been instructed by nearly 100 holidaymakers staying at the Red/Coral Sea Holiday Village between June and August 2012 who suffered severe diarrhoea – dehydration – stomach cramps – headaches and fever. These are classic symptoms of bacterial food poisoning and we can confirm that holidaymakers have been diagnosed with salmonella and campylobacter poisoning.”

“Fortunately, most holidaymakers suffering from illness experienced acute symptoms for only a short period. However, holidaymakers should be aware that individually they would be entitled to claim approximately £2000.00 for pain and suffering caused by a short term gastric illness as detailed in the case report below involving another First Choice customer.”

DUFFY v FIRST CHOICE HOLIDAYS & FLIGHTS (2000)

Most significant injury: Acute gastroenteritis (e-coli)

Duration of injury: Fully recovered in 4 weeks

PSLA: £1,500 (£2,177.07 RPI)


The diarrhoea and stomach cramps continued severely for 48 hours, then slowly subsided, taking approximately four weeks before they resolved. During the height of the illness, Mrs Duffy felt feverish and then lost her appetite. She lost half a stone in weight and was restricted to a bread and water diet. The medical expert concluded that she suffered acute gastroenteritis, most likely due to infection with entero-toxigenic E-coli, the commonest cause of traveller's diarrhoea.

Simon continues to say: “There are of coarse more serious illnesses which can develop following food poisoning or the consumption of faecally contaminated pool water. Ill holidaymakers returning from the Red Sea Holiday Village should be wary about settling their illness claim early with the tour operator and extinguishing their rights to claim appropriate compensation, especially if their symptoms are continuing. Seriously ill holidaymakers should think twice and seek legal advice from a specialist travel solicitor.”

ROBERTS v FIRST CHOICE HOLIDAYS (2005)

Most significant injury: Food poisoning, post-infective irritable bowel syndrome.

Duration of injury: Irritable bowel syndrome stabilised after a year but incontinence continued, weakness, curtailed social life and need for help with domestic tasks.

PSLA: £20,000 (£25,187.5 RPI)


Three days after Mrs Robert’s returned home she passed blood and went to hospital, where she was detained for two nights and given intravenous fluids and antibiotics. She lost two-and-a-half stones in weight over the next month and suffered continuing diarrhoea and was subject to several invasive investigations, including a barium enema. Mrs Robert’s was left with post-infective irritable bowel syndrome which stabilised after a year. However, four years later she continued to suffer from loose stools, requiring several bowel movements a day. She had endured many faecal accidents, but all at home, and she had to take Imodium when going out to avoid that risk.

Simpson Millar Collates Information for BBC Watchdog Show

First Choice’s Red/Coral Sea Holiday Village customers have advised us that the hotel’s clinic has been prescribing a plethora of antibiotics to those struck down with sickness and diarrhoea and often at a cost of £800 to insurers.

Antibiotics are effective against bacterial infections, certain fungal infections, and parasites such as cryptosporidium and giardia lamblia associated with contaminated water.

Holiday Illness in Egypt

Simon Lomax says:

Antibiotics do not work against viruses so if your holiday representative suggested that a mysterious virus was roaming the complex whilst the hotel doctor is busy prescribing antibiotics their explanation is unlikely to be correct.”

“Common bacterial and parasitic illnesses that holidaymakers have suffered in the past when returning from the Red/Coral Sea Holiday Village include: Salmonella; Campylobacter; Shigella; Cryptosporidium; and Ecoli. Holidaymakers who take antibiotics when they have a viral infection will not feel any better and may suffer side effects.”

Simpson Millar’s travel lawyers have been advised that indiscriminate antibiotic treatment has taken place at the Red Sea Holiday Village. This is a dangerous practice due to the risk of adverse drug effects which could lead to serious complications and also prolonged treatment.

Warnings on package of the antibiotic Streptoquin (Dilodoquin) itself states:

If you have experienced illness at the Red/Coral Sea Holiday Village in Egypt call Simpson Millar Solicitors on 0808 145 1353 for free advice before accepting any offer from First Choice’s Aftersales team.

Dated: 13/09/2012

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