Have you fallen ill from food poisoning whilst on holiday in Costa Rica, or know the details of another traveller who has? Was the Dreamliner return journey a nightmare?
Around 70000 British nationals visited Costa Rica in 2015 with many travelling with First Choice Holidays on all- inclusive package deals. Most of these holidays were trouble-free but some holidays were spoilt by illness. If you were one of the unlucky ones, Simpson Millar’s travel lawyers specialise in claiming compensation for those First Choice customers who suffer profuse diarrhoea, fever and stomach cramps abroad.
Have you endured foodborne illness at the following hotels?
Holidaymakers who experience gastric illness caused by food or water poisoning are entitled to claim substantial compensation from their tour operator particularly if their illness was due to faecally contaminated food infected with salmonella, E. coli, dysentery, campylobacter or the cryptosporidium bug.
In developing countries the likelihood of suffering a severe bout of illness is enhanced by hygiene standards which are often questionable and the fact that water is often contaminated. While 99% of the population of Costa Rica has access to a known supply of domestic water, only 82% of the population has consistent access to potable drinking water. The potable water supply is smaller in rural areas.
All inclusive hotels employ their staff from rural areas and therefore they bring disease and spread infection to guests as many are employed in catering roles.
Food poisoning occurs when food or water contaminated with harmful germs (microbes), toxins or chemicals is consumed. It usually causes diarrhoea, with or without being sick, fever and severe stomach cramps. Germs such as salmonella, E. coli and campylobacter are often the result of eating undercooked meat such as chicken and beef.
Only 82% of the population has consistent access to potable drinking water.
You should seek legal advice from a specialist holiday accident and illness lawyer as you may not fully understand your rights or how much compensation you are entitled to receive from First Choice.
Campylobacter is the most common germ (bacterium) that causes food poisoning to UK travellers. However, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) reports only the most serious cases but does not include data from those who were ill but recover abroad. The most recent statistics report that there were more than 500,000 cases of food poisoning from known causes but many pathogens pass through their host without being detected. Food poisoning at hotels, such as, the Secrets Papagayo Costa Rica, RIU Palace Costa Rica or the Dreams Las Marea Costa Rica is not the only worry for UK travellers!
A number of cases of Zika virus have also been reported in the last 6 months. Holidaymakers planning holidays to Costa Rica should follow the advice of the National Travel Health Network and Centre, particularly if you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant. Seek advice from a health professional if you have any further questions or concerns.
The virus is passed to travellers’ by mosquitos. Bites from the aedes aegypti and aedes albopictus mosquitoes that carry the virus can have serious complications.
Our Holiday Solicitors have recently been contacted by disappointed First Choice customers wanting advice about how to complain about their holiday, and recover compensation for serious illnesses and injuries sustained abroad.
Your First Choice holiday will be protected as it was purchased as a regulated package holiday. The Package Travel Regulations 1992 provide holidaymakers with legal rights that make First Choice responsible for the proper performance of its hotel suppliers abroad.
Holidaymakers returning from the Costa Rica who have suffered illness or injury due to the fault or failures of a hotel supplier are able to claim compensation via the UK courts, if necessary.
If you have suffered from a holiday illness and want to claim compensation from First Choice, then speak to us for free legal advice before contacting your tour operator.
If you would like free advice contact one of our experienced travel lawyers. Our management team alone has over 40 years of experience in dealing with travel related claims. Many of our lawyers have worked for the major tour operators in senior positions and know travel claims inside out.
Knowledge of the operations of tour operators and the industry is regarded as an advantage that results in successful compensation claims.
If you would like to find out more about making a claim for food poisoning or illness suffered in Costa Rica, then please don't hesitate to contact a member of our specialist travel law team. With our 'no win no fee' claims, you've really nothing to lose.