"Shocked and upset" Pontefract Holidaymakers to sue Scarborough Hotel group

Legal action against hotel

10.04.2006

Over 70 people from the Pontefract area are bringing a legal action against a Scarborough hotel group after they were all struck down with vomiting and diarrhoea while on their organised dance holiday.

The Marsden dance group, from Hemsworth, were on a four-day break between 20 and 24 March, at the Clifton Hotel, Queens Parade, Scarborough, when they suffered the gastric illness.

Although predominantly old aged pensioners, the group also included children aged two and three and was the second set of guests in a week to show the symptoms while at the hotel.

Illness contracted during hotel stay

A few days earlier, a party of 80, who were holding a musical event, had also fallen ill during their stay, but the hotel's proprietors failed to notify the Marsden party that this had happened.

The action is being brought against the owners of the hotel, English Rose Hotels of London Inn Yard, Newborough, Scarborough, with the help of solicitor Suki Chhokar, of national law firm Irwin Mitchell, which has offices in Leeds and Sheffield.

During their holiday, the Hemsworth group, who hold regular dances to raise money for the Sacred Heart Church, in Market Street, Hemsworth, and the local YMCA hall, had planned to attend similar events and other social evenings, all of which had to be cancelled when they fell ill.

Cynthia Marsden, of Hemsworth, who organised the holiday, said: "I was extremely shocked and upset that everybody in our party suffered the illness.

Hotel ruined holiday

"We were all completely devastated that our holiday was ruined. I am particularly angry that the hotel was aware of the illness the previous week and did not warn us before we stayed there."

After the earlier guests fell ill, the hotel had informed them that Scarborough Borough Council's environmental health department had been alerted.

Holiday illness solicitor

Suki Chhokar said, however: "The environmental health team only visited the hotel after the Hemsworth party fell ill, at which time they took stool samples from a number of guests for analysis, in an attempt to discover the cause of the illness, which has still not been confirmed. The hotel was then closed down for six days.

"This kind of illness, particularly in the elderly, can be very dangerous and some members of the party are still suffering the effects.

"We are acting on behalf of a number of the guests to establish the cause of the illness and bring the action against the hotel group over the failure to warn the party of the potential health risk they ran by staying there."

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