Compensation For Man Who Developed Pneumonia On Holiday

Illness In Italy

09.09.2010

A man from Bawtry in Doncaster who developed pneumonia following a holiday in Italy has won his battle for compensation after a judge at Birmingham County Court ruled that the damp conditions in the hotel caused his illness.

Brian Wood was a guest at the Bellevue Hotel, Lake Como, in September 2006. Despite paying extra for a room with a balcony and view of the lake, Mr Wood and his wife were confronted with conditions that they describe as “shoddy”.

The Woods were planning to celebrate their wedding anniversary at the hotel but on arrival they noticed damp on the walls, rotted woodwork around the windows and exposed wires.

Mr Wood developed pneumonia, a potentially life threatening condition, and spent nine days on hospital. He then suffered shortness of breath and tiredness for months, was forced to give up some of his hobbies and was unable to fully enjoy a holiday in Austria in June 2007.

Clare Pearson, a travel law expert at Irwin Mitchell, represented Mr Wood in his compensation claim. She said: “Mr Wood and his wife were given a hotel room which was clearly unsafe and a health hazard. The room was dirty and in poor condition. At the same time there were unacceptably high levels of dampness in the room which our medical expert and the judge concluded directly caused our client to develop pneumonia. This was completely unacceptable and today the judge found in Mr Wood’s favour, holding the tour operator (TUI UK Ltd) liable to compensate him for his illness and related losses.

“Although we are delighted that justice has been done, it is disappointing that TUI UK Ltd ignored our attempts to settle the case out of court, despite clear evidence supporting Mr Wood’s claim. We hope that lessons can be learnt from this case so that others do not have to suffer similar problems in the future.”

Mr Wood said: “I started to feel unwell on the day that I arrived home from the Bellevue Hotel and I just seemed to get worse from there. When I got home I felt very tired and I developed a temperature and started suffering from severe headaches and just couldn’t find the energy to do anything. I had awful headaches.

“My wife became really concerned and next thing I knew I was being rushed to hospital in an ambulance where they did a chest x-ray and told me I had pneumonia. I was shocked. We went on holiday to Italy to celebrate our anniversary and instead found ourselves staying in a shoddy room riddled with damp which was in much need of refurbishment.”

Mr Wood will now receive £6,500 from TUI UK Ltd but he says no compensation payment could make up for the past four years. He said: “I am now entitled to compensation from TUI UK Ltd but this was never about the money. The general manager of the hotel refused to accept that the room we stayed in was a health and safety risk and I wanted to ensure that no one else had to suffer the way we have.

“Though I am relieved that the Judge supported my version of events it has been an extremely stressful time of our lives and nothing will ever make up for our uncomfortable anniversary, the time I spent in hospital or the many months of suffering I had to endure.”

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