Couple Take Legal Action After Falling Ill During Turkish Holiday

Travel Law Experts Instructed To Investigate Cause Of Illness


A couple who fell ill with gastric symptoms while on a romantic Turkish holiday have instructed international travel law experts to investigate what caused their illness.

Sharon Griffiths and her partner, Mark Heath, from Reading, were on their first holiday together at the Telmessos Hotel, Hisaronu in October 2013 for a week last year when they began to feel unwell the day before they were due to fly home.

On their return, the couple, from Twyford, say their symptoms worsened with both suffering diarrhoea and abdominal pain, and medical tests confirmed that Sharon had campylobacter a bacterial infection which can be contracted by eating contaminated food. Campylobacter causes symptoms including diarrhoea, vomiting, abdominal pains and fever.

After Sharon, 43, needed three days off work to recover and with both her and Mark, 51, continuing to suffer gastric symptoms, the couple instructed expert travel lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate what caused their illness.

Suki Chhokar, is a Partner at Irwin Mitchell who specialises in helping people suffering illness both abroad and in the UK.

Expert Opinion
Aside from making holidays extremely unpleasant, Campylobacter can have a debilitating long-term impact on victims’ health.

“Our clients have described conditions which seem consistent with their belief that their food poisoning started while staying at this hotel and we are now investigating our clients’ claims and hope Thomas Cook will work with us as we seek to resolve the couple’s case.”
Suki Chhokar, Partner

Sharon, who works as a customer services assistant said: “Mark and I wanted a relaxing, romantic break for our first holiday together.

“But this was ruined when we both began to feel unwell during our last couple of days at the hotel, and this left us unable to enjoy the facilities or our remaining time together.

“We noticed in the restaurant that some of the food was regularly left uncovered and lukewarm and that the waiting staff were not always keeping on top of the cleaning. On one occasion we also saw a waiter picking up a cat in the restaurant with their bare hands and putting it outside and they carried on serving people without washing their hands.

“When we arrived home our symptoms became worse still to the point that I became worried and visited my doctor. When it was confirmed I had contracted Campylobacter I was horrified.

“I had to take three days off work which meant I didn’t get paid and both Mark and I still suffer with stomach cramps and a change to our normal bowel habit.

“We want answers about what caused us to become poorly as the memories of our first holiday together are now ruined which is why we instructed lawyers at Irwin Mitchell who are now investigating on our behalf. We hope that the Tour Operator will learn lessons from what has happened to us so that other holidaymakers are not also affected.”

Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise relating to illness abroad.