Five-Figure Settlement For West Midlands Woman After Gran Canaria Holiday Ruined By Illness

Irwin Mitchell Secure Settlement Following Nightmare Stay At Club Hotel Riu, Gran Canaria

20.08.2015

A retired woman says she is relieved to be able to put her nightmare Gran Canarian holiday experience behind her, now that expert travel lawyers at Irwin Mitchell have secured her a five-figure settlement after her trip was ruined by contracting campylobacter – a serious food poisoning related illness.

Retired husband and wife, Michael and Margaret Bateman, 67, from Oldbury, West Midlands, visited the Hotel Club Riu in Gran Canaria for a four-week stay in January and February 2011. However, what was supposed to be a relaxing holiday following her retirement, turned out to be a disaster for the couple when Margaret began suffering with symptoms of food poisoning, including lethargy, nausea and severe diarrhoea.

Margaret was confined to her hotel room for the remainder of her holiday where Michael was required to care for her. Upon Margaret’s return to the UK she was diagnosed by her GP with campylobacter, and sadly continued to suffer with symptoms of food poisoning, resulting in her being confined to her home for several months.

The couple instructed specialist international personal injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate the cause of Margaret’s illness, which had led her to suffer with weight loss as a result of her continuing symptoms.

The tour operator, TUI UK Ltd, through which the holiday was booked, denied that they were responsible throughout the legal battle, despite a confirmed diagnosis of the bacterial food poisoning related condition, campylobacter, and supportive reports from a microbiologist and health and hygiene officer.

The travel law team at Irwin Mitchell have now secured the couple a five-figure settlement from the holiday company. Margaret told lawyers that during her stay at the four-star resort in Las Meloneras, she witnessed dirty cutlery and tables, cockroaches and present in the restaurant, and that she also suspected that the food served in the restaurant in the evening may have been reused the following day.

After her holiday Margaret’s gastric symptoms continued and she is still forced to visit her GP due to ongoing health problems. 

Expert Opinion
“This case shows just how much of an impact a holiday illness can have, as Margaret continues to suffer from long term problems related to the illness contracted whilst on holiday.

“After a lengthy case, we are now delighted to have secured a settlement for Margaret to cover the cost of her ruined holiday and the ongoing problems she endures.

“We see many cases of this nature and therefore it is important that tour operators take note, and ensure that their customers’ health is protected by guaranteeing that the hotels they are promoting have the appropriate hygiene standards.

“We are pleased to have agreed a settlement with TUI UK Ltd and we hope that Margaret will now be able to put this dreadful ordeal behind her.”
Jennifer Mullins, Solicitor

Margaret’s symptoms began with a general feeling of lethargy and nausea and on the evening before she was due to fly home her symptoms worsened significantly. She developed severe diarrhoea and on her return home her GP confirmed that she had contracted campylobacter. She then suffered from urinary tract infections over the next 10 months requiring multiple courses of antibiotics.

Margaret said: “I would not wish my experience upon anyone as it’s really knocked my confidence and it’s made me no longer look forward to going on holiday. What was supposed to be a relaxing holiday has remained in our minds for all of the wrong reasons, and it still makes me upset thinking about everything I went through and the problems I continue to have.

“Prior to my illness, we stayed at the Club Riu Hotel regularly and were loyal customers but now I look upon the hotel with anger and bad memories, and would not recommend the hotel to anyone. A simple apology would have assisted, however TUI prolonged the legal battle by continuing to deny liability.

“Psychologically my illness has tremendously affected my life and whilst I have been away on holidays since, I am very conscious of falling ill again. No amount of money can make up for the impact that this illness has had on my life, but now that I know TUI have paid for the failings at the resort, I can begin to move forward.”