Hotel Illness Leaves Holidaymaker With Arthritis

Britons Take Legal Action After Falling Ill In Egypt

11.09.2009

Eight holidaymakers are taking legal action after falling ill at a four-star Hilton hotel at the luxury Egyptian in resort Sharm El Sheikh.

Travel litigation experts at Irwin Mitchell are pursuing the claims after their dream breaks at the Hilton Sharks Bay Resort were ruined by gastric illness.

They have all complained about the hotel’s cleanliness, with concerns over dirty rooms, debris found at the bottom of its swimming pool and hygiene problems in the restaurant.

It is the second time that Irwin Mitchell has represented clients who fell ill at the hotel - in 2007 the firm secured compensation for a couple following salmonella food poisoning at the hotel.

Among the latest holidaymakers affected is Julian Rudd, 38, who became so ill that he developed Reiter’s Syndrome - with symptoms including arthritis of the joints, inflammation of the urethra and conjunctivitis.

The Business Development Manager, who was staying at the resort with his girlfriend through Libra Holidays, said: “We fell ill three days into the trip and the holiday was effectively over at that point.

“We both suffered from fever and diarrhoea while we were still out there which meant we couldn’t really leave the hotel. Then when we got back my partner had to take a week off work to recover and my condition just got worse.

“The first signs something further was wrong was a few days after we got home and it was very painful to pass water - it felt like razorblades. Then soon after that I got conjunctivitis and bad lower back pain.

“It was as if the hotel were aware there was an ongoing gastric problem, as they were selling the equivalent of Imodium behind the hotel reception.

“My doctor diagnosed it immediately as Reiter’s Syndrome and said it often comes about after serious bouts of gastric illness. I was run down having lost quite a bit of weight because of the diarrhoea and my body just couldn’t fight it off.

“Three months after getting back, I’ve just come off the medication but I’ve still got health problems.”

Mr Rudd, from Selby, North Yorkshire, said he saw new food being placed on top of old at the Hilton, was served undercooked meat and given dirty cutlery and glasses.

“It was so disappointing to have spent that bit extra to stay somewhere like a Hilton and discover it isn’t up to scratch,” he added. “Our room was dirty and my girlfriend had to buy antiseptic wipes to try and get things clean.”

Irwin Mitchell solicitor Helen Cheshire said: “It is appalling that what should have been a memorable trip for these holidaymakers was ruined by the hotel not ensuring that sufficient hygiene levels were in place - particularly when it has suffered similar problems in the past and should have learnt its lesson.

“Julian will be counting the cost of that for the rest of his life because Reiter’s is a serious condition that can flare up at any stage.

“It is a tour operator’s responsibility to ensure standards of hygiene are maintained in the hotels they choose to send holidaymakers to. Tour operators are well aware of the risks of long term illness to their clients if hygiene standards are breached and clearly more should have been done at this hotel to ensure that it was safe. We now hope that Libra and the other tour operators involved will work with us to promptly and fairly compensate Julian and our other clients.”