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£7,000 compensation after Mexican hotel bug ruins honeymoon holiday

Thomas Cook has agreed to pay a British woman compensation after she contracted a severe bout of gastric illness while honeymooning in Mexico.

When the illness struck in May 2012, the 28-year-old recruitment consultant was with her new husband at the Azul Beach Hotel by Karisma, close to the Riviera Maya resort.

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Cause of Illness

Most likely caused by consuming contaminated food or drink

All-inclusive board holiday

Noting the all-inclusive nature of the Thomas Cook holiday package for the Azul Beach, Simpson Millar's Andrew Tarling said the illness was most likely caused by consuming contaminated food or drink.

Legal expert comment

"Our client suffered a gastric intestinal disorder by way of either viral, protozoa or a bacterial parasite, ingested as a result of the consumption of contaminated food, drinking water and/or swimming pool water provided at the hotel," Andrew said.

Hotel hygiene "poor"

"Forced to take time off work, our client attributed the source of her illness to the unacceptably poor standards of hygiene exercised at the hotel."

Legal paperwork

Medical Report

Holidaymaker had suffered "9 days of diarrhoea with cramps, very severely and occurring every 20 minutes"

Although no bleeding or vomiting was noted, our client "did experience fever, headaches, malaise, tiredness, fatigue, light-headedness, body aches, shaking and sweating".

"The report stated that our client lost 4lb in weight which, at the time of her claim, she had still not fully regained," Andrew said. "It's important to note that her husband also suffered with diarrhoea at the same time."

Staff did not wear hygienic clothing

Neither one of the couple could recall seeing catering staff wearing protective gloves or hairnets

The report went on to say that hotel food was felt to be of poor quality. On one occasion fish was served raw and frozen, while neither one of the couple could recall seeing catering staff wearing protective gloves or hairnets.

Invisible dangers of food poisoning at restaurants abroad

"Glasses when used were only rinsed rather than fully washed," Andrew said. "Birds were able to fly into the restaurants and were regularly seen on the tables where breakfast, lunches and evening meals were served."

Ruined memories

For our client and her bridegroom, the memory of the holiday was ruined – a particularly sensitive issue given it was their honeymoon. Symptoms were depressing and demoralising, while the subsequent colonoscopy our client was obliged to undergo was "upsetting and distressing".

"Our client's honeymoon was ruined by illness for which the tour operator's solicitors vigorously denied liability," Andrew Tarling concluded.

"They only agreed to the £7,000 compensation after we submitted extensive medical evidence and formally threatened court action."


Praise for Simpson Millar

"I would not hesitate in recommending their services"

Pronouncing our service "excellent", our delighted client said Simpson Millar had proved to be the ideal solicitor to manage her case. "Andrew Tarling clearly knew and understood the nature of my case to a high level. I had a lot of confidence in his abilities, and he was friendly, informative and polite throughout the proceedings."

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