Justice For Woman After ‘Holiday Hell’

Settlement More Than 8 Times Larger Than Thomas Cook Had Previously Offered


A woman whose birthday celebrations at a ‘luxury’ Mexican hotel were ruined after she fell ill with severe sickness and diarrhoea has spoken of her relief after the tour operator agreed to pay her a settlement, concluding her battle for justice. 
Natalie Daymond, 27, from Sunderland, who still suffers on-going gastric symptoms, instructed international personal injury law experts at Irwin Mitchell to investigate the conditions she faced at the Barcelo Costa Hotel near Cancun in October 2009, which on occasion included:

• Filthy bed sheets and bedrooms;
• Pink and bloody chicken;
• Dirty swimming pool surfaces;
• Re-used foods during meal times.
The specialist team was forced to take the matter to court when the tour operator would not agree a settlement which was felt reflected the severity of Natalie’s illness and the impact on-going symptoms have on her day-to-day life.
A three-day trial was due to begin at the County Court in Birmingham on the 23 June, when Thomas Cook finally agreed to pay realistic damages to Natalie, the amount of which reflected the severity of her illness.
Jennifer Downing, a specialist travel lawyer at Irwin Mitchell representing her, said: “Natalie suffered gastric symptoms during her stay at the Barcelo Costa Hotel that continue to affect her life now.

“She and her partner booked the trip to celebrate her 23rd birthday in what they hoped would be relaxing surroundings but this was ruined when they both fell ill. 
“It is essential that food hygiene and health guidelines are followed by hotels to keep their guests safe. Tour operators have a duty to ensure the hotels they work with are up to standard. 

“It is unfortunate that the matter had to proceed to court before Thomas Cook would consider making a realistic settlement proposal. We are pleased to have secured a successful conclusion for Natalie at the door steps of the court. The damages she has received are more than eight times the sum that Thomas Cook had offered previously. We hope the settlement now allows her to move on from her ordeal.”

Natalie, a hairdresser who lives in Ryhope, added: “Me and my boyfriend at the time booked the holiday expecting a relaxing break for my 23rd birthday in luxury surroundings. However this couldn’t have been further from the truth and we were disappointed from the first day by the poor hotel conditions especially the pool, bedroom and food, which was on occasion not well cooked and appeared to have been re-used from other meal times.

“I continue to suffer gastric symptoms now which can affect my work and it has been very frustrating that Thomas Cook would not agree to settle my case sooner, for a realistic figure.

“Thankfully due to the persistence of my legal team at Irwin Mitchell I now have justice and can try and put the holiday from hell behind me.”