Couple’s Torquay Holiday Ruined By Illness

Guests Not Told Of Previous Illness Outbreaks Until It Was Too Late

12.09.2011

A couple from Southampton have contacted travel lawyers at Irwin Mitchell after their holiday in Torquay was ruined by an illness outbreak.

Colin and Margaret McCann arrived at the Majestic Templestowe Hotel in Torquay on June 27th. The hotel had been closed earlier that month following a previous illness outbreak and soon after arriving Margaret fell ill with serious gastric symptoms.

The McCanns only learned of the hotel’s previous problems when they had a leaflet pushed under their door a couple of days into their stay. Sadly Margaret had already been treated by a paramedic by this stage and Colin was just days from being struck down with illness himself.

Colin McCann said: “Staff carried on like everything was normal when we arrived and we didn’t know about the illness before it was far too late.

“My wife was in a terrible state and I went straight to reception to raise concerns over her illness. A coach driver and former paramedic who was there at the time checked her over and called an ambulance.”

“While she was treated by a paramedic and confined to her room, the hotel staff didn’t bother to clean our room and we didn’t get any clean sheets or towels after reporting our illness. I was forced to go shopping to get our sanitising products just to try and keep the room clean.”

Colin also reported seeing that food in the buffet area left uncovered. On the final day of the holiday Colin also fell ill and the couple were told they would not be allowed on their coach home due to their illness.

Colin added: “We were told we had to be out of the hotel at 9am on the final day as it was being closed, but were then told we could not travel on the coach. It looked like we would literally be left in the car park holding our suitcases until they changed their minds.

“I was so angry. It felt like I had been ignored by the hotel staff and tour operator and they spent the whole time just refusing to take responsibility. While we have since recovered, we complained to Majestic Tours but are yet to get a proper response with answers as to why this happened.”

Phil Banks is an expert in holiday illnesses at Irwin Mitchell. He is helping the McCanns in their claim for compensation and urged anyone else who suffered at the Majestic Templestowe to come forward.

Phil explained: “Illness outbreaks at hotels often do more than ruin holidays, as they can lead to long-term health problems which leave sufferers needing years of care and attention.

“We have repeatedly called on hotels which have suffered such problems to inform anyone with future bookings as to what has happened and to offer them the chance to make further arrangements.

“Sadly, like incidents we’ve seen in the past, this was not done here, meaning that more people were put at risk of developing serious illnesses.

“Irwin Mitchell recently obtained a landmark judgment at trial for dozens of British holidaymakers who contracted illness at the San Baulo Hotel in Majorca. In that case, and despite the tour operator's arguments to the contrary, the Court determined that a tour operator has a duty to warn potential guests about an existing illness outbreak at a hotel.

“It is of great concern that the McCanns and others were not warned of problems at the Majestic Templestowe hotel and the risk of becoming ill while staying there. We will be demanding answers as to why our clients were not given the information they were entitled to so that they could make an informed decision about staying at this hotel.

“We would urge anyone else who has suffered problems during stays at this hotel to come forward, while we will continue to demand that lessons to be learned from to hopefully ensure that no one else suffers in the same manner again.”