Retired Couple Launch Legal Battle After Illness At Cuban Resort Left One In Hospital

Expert Travel Lawyers At Irwin Mitchell Issue Proceedings Against Thomas Cook


Andrew Robinson, Press Officer | 0113 218 6463

Specialist travel lawyers at Irwin Mitchell have launched legal action against Thomas Cook after a retired couple had their luxury holiday ruined by illness when staying at the Iberostar Laguna Azul in Cuba.

Patricia Butcher and Michael Butler, from Kemsley in Kent, travelled to the four-star hotel in October 2012 to celebrate Michael’s retirement. However, just days into their holiday Patricia began to suffer with gastric illness, with symptoms including diarrhoea, vomiting and a fever.

Her symptoms meant she was able to eat and drink very little and on one occasion she collapsed in the bathroom of the couple’s hotel room. She was taken to hospital in a taxi and placed on an intravenous drip and prescribed antibiotics and pain killers.

Patricia was discharged from hospital but continued to suffer with similar symptoms when she returned to the hotel. She was rushed to hospital in an ambulance on three further occasions during the two-week holiday.

Her symptoms also continued on her return to the UK and she lost a significant amount of weight as a result of the illness.  She continues to suffer from symptoms to this day.

Thomas Cook has denied liability in respect of the couple’s claim.

Nichola Blackburn, an expert in Irwin Mitchell’s International Personal Injury team representing the couple, said:

Expert Opinion
“Patricia and Michael told us that their holiday was ruined because of the gastric illness Patricia suffered and the frequent trips to the hospital they were forced to undertake as a result of the symptoms.

“We have now forwarded papers to Court for legal proceedings to be issued on behalf of Patricia and Michael. Unless an out of court settlement can be achieved on satisfactory terms, these clients’ claims will be determined in Court.”
Nichola Blackburn, Other Legal Expert

Patricia, 68, said: “I feel like we were completely let down by Thomas Cook. I put my trust in them and we were expecting to have a luxurious and relaxing two-week holiday, but instead we were left completely appalled by the experience.

“The last thing you expect when booking a holiday abroad is to be spending most of your time at the hotel resort or in a foreign hospital. I am still affected by the symptoms I suffered in Cuba and I want to know how it happened and if more should have been done by Thomas Cook to stop holidaymakers falling ill.”

Michael, 67, said: “When Pat collapsed in the bathroom I was in a panic and the hotel staff told me I would have to take her to the hospital in a taxi as there was no chance of getting an ambulance.

“We both feel let down and shocked by our experience in Cuba and hope that taking legal action will help us to gain the answers that we want as to what caused Patricia to fall ill.”