Lawyers Instructed For Fourth Year In A Row Regarding Oriana Cruise Illness

Victims ‘Deserve To Know Cause Of Suffering’ On Ship In March


Legal specialists representing passengers affected by illness on board P&O’s Oriana cruise ship in 2011, 2012 and 2013 have begun fresh investigations after being contacted for help in relation to illness problems on board the vessel recently.

Irwin Mitchell’s International Travel Litigation lawyers have now been formally instructed by several passengers who have demanded answers after they were affected by gastric illness during the 12-day voyage to Norway which began and ended in Southampton.

Among them is Patricia Horgan, who was left unable to care for her disabled partner Mark Forrest after being confined to their cabin for the final third of the cruise with severe gastric symptoms including stomach cramps, nausea and diarrhoea. The couple spent the last of their savings on booking the trip as part of Patricia’s 60th birthday celebrations.

This marks the fourth consecutive year that Irwin Mitchell has been contacted in relation to problems on board the Oriana cruise ship, with the national law firm settling claims on behalf of 24 passengers in relation to outbreaks on the vessel in 2011 and 2012, securing over £70,000 in damages. They are continuing to work on behalf of 16 passengers affected by further problems on the ship in 2013.

Jennifer Downing, a legal specialist at Irwin Mitchell acting on behalf of the latest passengers to come forward regarding the Oriana, said: “We have now heard first-hand from passengers in relation to what they encountered on board the Oriana in March and have commenced our own investigations in an effort to shed more light on these problems.”

Patricia Horgan, from Gunnislake in Cornwall, had cashed in the last of her and her partner Mark’s savings to go on the cruise on board the Oriana in March as part of celebrations for her 60th birthday.

However, after developing severe gastric illness symptoms, the learning support tutor contacted the ship’s medical centre and was confined to her cabin for three days. Unfortunately, shortly after Mark also became ill with symptoms including stomach cramps, nausea and diarrhoea and was also confined to the cabin for the remainder of the cruise.

Patricia recalled: “This was meant to be a very special holiday for my partner and I to spend important time together, but it was the most disappointing holiday we have ever been on. It just felt like a waste of money.

“I have never felt so ill and the problems had such an impact on Mark and I. Mark is a disabled amputee and I am his carer, but the illness knocked me for six and I was so exhausted I couldn’t help him in the same capacity as I normally would.

“For several days all we saw was the inside of the cabin – it was awful. We paid a considerable sum of money for this trip and it was a nightmare. We deserve to know how we ended up suffering like we did and what is being done to stop it from happening again.

“I wouldn’t wish what we have been through on my worst enemy.”

Jennifer Downing of Irwin Mitchell added: “Any reports of illness on board cruise ships or at holiday resorts across the world are a concern, but it is a matter of particular concern that this is the fourth year in a row that we have been asked by passengers to help them following episodes of illness on board this particular liner.

“Guidelines are in place for cruise ship operators to follow and we will be working to determine what P&O has done to investigate and resolve any underlying issues following the problems experienced in recent years.”