Holiday Claims
Holiday illness in Egypt

£13,500 Compensation for Gastric Illness Couple After Disagreement over Liability

  • We rejected the original offer - which amounted to only £1,750 per person
  • With our help, the couple were able to share total compensation of £13,500

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.

Only consumed the hotel's food and drink

Illness caused by unhygienic hotel swimming pool

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."

Uncertain of legal position

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."

No Win No Fee Holiday Claim Solicitor

Contract needed consideration

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.

Simpson Millar LLP established true responsibility

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."

Top tips to take away:

  • Always try to book a package holiday with a reputable tour operator to ensure that you have maximum legal protection. If you are not sure whether you are booking a package holiday, ask the travel company to confirm it in writing before committing to buy.
  • Booking a holiday that is ATOL protected or that provided by an ABTA member does not necessarily mean that it is a package or that you have a legal right to claim compensation if something goes wrong.
  • Customers that purchase a Package Holiday are able to sue the tour operator in the UK if something goes wrong. If a holiday is not a package holiday often the only way to claim is against the hotel, which in many cases will not be viable option.

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