Over 200 Holidaymakers Hit By Outbreak At Butlins Bognor Regis Launch Legal Proceedings

Court Proceedings Issued Regarding Problems In 2011


Specialist lawyers representing  holidaymakers involved in three separate illness outbreaks in as many years at Butlins in Bognor Regis have now launched legal action on behalf of more than 215 holidaymakers affected by problems at the resort in 2011.

Following a denial of liability by Butlins’ parent company Bourne Leisure Ltd, court proceedings have been commenced by Irwin Mitchell in relation to an outbreak of illness at the resort between May and July 2011.

The legal expert’s clients, including members of the ’Ealing Handicapped Irish Dancers’  and members of ‘Mencap Hillingdon North’ whose annual group holidays at the time were devastated by the problems, have described issues including:

  • On occasions undercooked food and meals were served
  • On occasions food was left uncovered 
  • Hot food was seen on occasions being mixed with existing food
  • On occasions management staff were said to have been rude, ignoring requests for help and forcing ill guests to leave early
  • On occasions there were failures to maintain cleanliness in communal areas and individual rooms
  • Flies were seen on and around the food at times
  • Pigeons were on occasion spotted on tables
  • There were sewage smells around parts of the resort
  • On occasions the swimming pool was cloudy with slime around the edges

Irwin Mitchell’s illness lawyers have secured justice on behalf of thousands of holidaymakers who have suffered serious health problems as a result of outbreaks of illness at hotels and resorts across the world. As well as representing clients who stayed at Butlins Bognor Regis in 2011, the lawyers also currently act for 14 holidaymakers who suffered in outbreaks at the same resort in 2012 and a further 23 holidaymakers in 2013.

Elizabeth Tetzner, at Irwin Mitchell representing the group, said: “All hotel and resort operators have a duty of care towards their guests. This  includes maintaining adequate standards of hygiene. Our clients have given us worrying accounts of their stays, including concerns regarding cleanliness, standards of food preparation and service as well as their treatment by staff at the site.

“Bourne Leisure Ltd has denied liability and as such our clients have been left with no other option than to issue court proceedings as they seek justice for their ruined holidays.

“We have now commenced formal legal proceedings. Unless an out of court settlement can be achieved on satisfactory terms, these clients’ claims will be determined at trial in Court.

“Gastric illness can have a devastating impact on people’s health and the effects of it cannot be underestimated. We have acted in numerous cases where our clients have been left with long term health problems." 

Among the clients that Irwin Mitchell is representing is 55-year-old Alison Hill, a group leader of Mencap Hillingdon North, who visited the site for five days in June 2011 alongside seven other volunteers and the group’s 21 members.

Alison, from Middlesex, recalls: “When one of our group members became ill I complained to the resort staff, but was then seen privately by a manager who asked me not to tell other guests about the illness and also asked if the party could leave early. We were stunned.

“Having to return earlier than planned caused major disruption, as day-to-day carers for some of our members were on holiday themselves and did not expect us to be returning early.

“Over two years on, we have still not been on another overnight visit as a group simply because we all do not want to go through the emotional and physical distress again. It is really worrying that other people have also suffered illness since our time there. We know all too well how falling ill can ruin your holiday”

Other clients affected by the problems include healthcare assistant Amy Denny, 24, from Northampton, who also returned home early from her break at the resort with her partner Philip and sons Bailey and Finley.

She recalls: “My youngest son Bailey was only 18 months at the time and we had to take him to hospital as we were so scared about the effect that the illness had on him.

It is so upsetting that it was our first holiday together as a family and it has scarred them for life.”