Holidaymakers Take Legal Action After Illness At Five-Star Cape Verde Resort

Salmonella Amongst Gastric Illness Issues Suffered By Guests At Riu Karamboa

02.11.2015

A group of holidaymakers are taking legal action after their luxury five-star holidays to Cape Verde were ruined by gastric illness which left one person hospitalised with both Salmonella and Shigella on her return home, and another continues to suffer symptoms after contracting Shigella.

Specialist travel lawyers at Irwin Mitchell have now been instructed to take legal action against tour operator TUI UK Limited after the holidaymakers travelled to the Riu Karamboa, Cape Verde, in September and October this year and suffered from severe gastric symptoms including diarrhoea, vomiting and stomach cramps.

The guests have told lawyers how their holidays were ruined by the horrible illnesses which have continued to affect them on their return home from the hotel which is referred to as a ‘Premium Hotel’ by TUI.

Guests have raised concerns about the hygiene standards at the resort notably that they sometimes observed new food being placed on top of existing food in the buffet and that there were cats, flies and birds seen on occasions around the eating areas of the resort.

The cutlery was also unclean on occasion and serving utensils were mixed up in the self-service buffet area. There were also concerns raised about the pool area, including the tiles being cracked and the pool being inadequately cleaned.

Jatinder Paul, an associate and expert travel illness lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, representing the group of holidaymakers, said: 

Expert Opinion
“We have heard first-hand reports from our clients of the standards they experienced at the Riu Karamboa and we have a number of serious concerns.

“The severity of the illness suffered by some of our clients after staying at the Riu Karamboa is worrying. The last thing our clients expected when they booked a luxury relaxing holiday was to be stuck in their rooms suffering with the terrible symptoms associated with gastric illness.

“Through our work we have seen the impact illnesses of this nature can have; gastric symptoms are not just horrible at the time but they can cause long-term health issues such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome. One of our clients has been hospitalised twice as a result of her illness and another has had to seek attention from her GP.

“Our clients have also advised us that they were aware of others staying at the resort who were also suffering with similar symptoms. We will now be investigating the cause of their illnesses and we would urge anyone else who may have suffered similar problems at the resort to get in touch as they may be able to help us with our enquiries.”
Jatinder Paul, Associate

Jeanette Phillips, 24, from Chesterfield, and her partner stayed at the Riu Karamboa hotel in Cape Verde for 10 days at the start of October this year. Both of them became unwell and Jeanette was forced to spend the majority of the rest of her holiday in her room.

Her symptoms persisted even when she returned home so she consulted her GP. She has since been advised by her GP that she is suffering from Shigella, a serious bacterial infection, which is mainly spread when foods come into contact with human or animal faeces.

Jeanette, a customer service representative, said: “We booked the holiday to celebrate four years of being together. It was the first time we had been on holiday together abroad and the first time my boyfriend had been abroad at all. What was supposed to be a relaxed holiday to celebrate our time together ended up being a nightmare. During the holiday we became really ill and my illness is still affecting me now. 

"All I wanted to do was to get home, instead of being ill in a hotel room away from home. By the end of the holiday we both felt physically and mentally exhausted.

“My boyfriend had never been abroad before and it will take a lot to convince him to go away again after our ordeal. The quality of the hotel was certainly not five stars. After finding out from my GP that I had Shigella, I want answers as to how I could have contracted this. I would not want anyone to have to go through the same ordeal that we went through.

“You don’t expect to come home from a luxury holiday feeling worse than when you left.”