Group Of Holidaymakers Including Six Children Receive Settlement After Illness At Royal Park Hotel

Travel Lawyers at Irwin Mitchell Secure Settlements for Family of 16 Who Became Severely Ill During Holiday


Specialist international personal injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell have secured a settlement of around £119,000 for 16 holidaymakers who became so severely ill whilst on a large family holiday that some of the children involved still suffer from symptoms such as sickness and stomach cramps four years after the trip. 

Among the large family of 16 are five children, who have been awarded a total of £90,000 approved by the Sheffield County Court this week, after suffering illness at the Royal Park Hotel in Elenite, Bulgaria.  The adults’ legal cases were settled earlier for nearly £30,000.

The devastated family told expert international personal injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell that conditions at the Royal Park were ‘appalling’ and ‘unhygienic’ and just a few days into the holiday in July 2010 family members began experiencing symptoms including severe abdominal pain and sickness. The children were left so ill by their holiday that all five of them still suffer from symptoms today, four years after their nightmare trip.  

Conditions described by the family following their all-inclusive two-week break at the Royal Park Hotel included:

• The food sometimes appearing to be left uncovered for long periods of time;
• Flies were often seen on the food and times when cockroaches were found in the restaurant and hotel room;  
• Concerns about the food often appearing to be re-heated and re-used at different meal times;
• On occasions the food appearing to be undercooked or not heated to a suitable temperature. 

Some of the young children, including Liam Westby, 12, and Lucy Beever, seven, both from Rotherham and who were celebrating their birthdays on the holiday, were so ill that they spent the majority of their time at the resort in their room. As well as vomiting and suffering abdominal pain, they also developed a high fever, causing great concern for their parents because of the hot Bulgarian climate. 

Now, Irwin Mitchell has secured a total settlement of around £119,000 for 16 members of the family from tour operator Balkan Holidays Limited after they admitted primary liability for the illness. Irwin Mitchell also represented a group of over 280 holidaymakers who suffered illness at the Royal Park hotel in 2008, successfully concluding their cases for hundreds of thousands of pounds two years ago.

Expert Opinion
This large family suffered from dreadful symptoms such as stomach cramps, diarrhoea and lethargy. Aside from making their holiday extremely unpleasant, the illness has had a long-lasting impact, particularly for the young children involved.

“What should have been a two-week break for the family to spend together relaxing, ended up being ruined by the illness which left some of them confined to their rooms at times and has left some of them suffering with on-going symptoms.

“We hope that now the final settlement has been approved by the Court the family will be able to get on with their lives and put the experience behind them.”
Jatinder Paul, Associate
Lucy’s father, Stephen Beever, 54, spoke of how the then toddler was crying continuously because of the pain in her abdomen. During her illness she could not eat and even liquids were difficult for her to keep down. She was taken to the on-site doctor, but the family were only advised to buy her over the counter treatment from a local pharmacy.  

Although this helped ease the symptoms to an extent, her illness, along with that of the other members of the family, lasted for the duration of the holiday and also left the five children on the holiday with on-going stomach cramps and vomiting which their parents worry will remain life-long problems.   

Stephen said: “Our holiday at the Royal Park Hotel was a disaster and has caused a lot of problems following our return. At least once a week Lucy will suffer with stomach cramps that cause her pain and distress. 

“It has affected her life and her confidence irreparably, and she is reluctant to get involved with after school groups because of her ongoing troubles. It means that she is missing out on lots of opportunities, which breaks my heart.

“Lucy and Liam were both celebrating their birthdays whilst we were in Bulgaria, which we hoped would make it a really special time for them. Sadly this is a birthday that we will never forget for all the wrong reasons.”

Liam’s mum, Karie Ashforth, now 31, said: “The children suffered horrifically during the holiday and it is awful to see them still struggling now. 

“One of the worst aspects for Liam was having to miss football and time with his friends, things that a boy of his age should be enjoying without any worry.

“We felt that it was fair that we received a financial settlement of this order given that our family holiday was ruined by illness and due to the suffering we experienced then and thereafter. We will never forget the ordeal but hopefully we can draw a line under it and move on.”