A couple who fell ill with gastric problems during their honeymoon at a popular Egyptian hotel have been awarded damages. The couple, who were enjoying a belated honeymoon at the Park Inn Radisson Hotel in June 2013, were only 3 days into their holiday when both began to feel unwell.
According to Simpson Millar LLP's Andrew Tarling, each suffered a gastric intestinal disorder believed to be caused by poor standards of hygiene. On their arrival at the Park Inn Radisson, both had consumed only the hotel's food and drinking water, and they had used the hotel's swimming pool.
"The symptoms which affected the couple, both of whom suffered food poisoning, included tiredness, headaches, diarrhoea, nausea, shivers/temperature and swollen legs," Andrew said.
"On their return to the UK they were ill for some weeks, and they required a great deal of assistance with routine chores such as cooking, shopping and cleaning."
As the claim progressed, it became a topic of dispute whether the couple's arrangement with their operator, Imperial Travel, was a 'package holiday' as defined by the Package Travel Regulations 1992.
"If the holiday was properly regarded as a package, there would have been no doubt that our clients were legally protected," Andrew said. "However Imperial, which is not a traditional tour operator, asserted that the holiday arrangements could not be defined as a package and that they did not act as a tour operator."
Andrew noted that with such a difficulty looming, the wording of the couple's holiday contract had to be carefully considered.
"Attempts appeared to have been made within the operator's terms and conditions to exclude the holiday from being regarded as a package," he said. "In our view, the holiday arrangements fell squarely within the definition of a package."
With our help, the couple were able to share total compensation of £13,500.
Andrew said that our clients' claim had been, perfectly reasonably, directed against a retail agent on the basis that it had sold a "package" as defined by the Package Travel Regulations.
"We are seeing a growing trend of companies selling holidays that appear to be regulated packages but which try to evade their legal responsibilities by relying of inventive small print" he said. "In this case, the claim was passed to the defendant's insurers, who, though they continued to insist that the holiday was not package, agreed to settle the claims on behalf of the accommodation provider."
"A medical report allowed us to assess the level of pain and suffering experienced by the couple and their out-of-pocket expenses as they recovered from their respective illnesses," Andrew concluded. "It's worth noting that the insurer's original offers, which we rejected, amounted to only £1,750 per person."
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