Tunisian Holiday Ruined By Suspected Salmonella And Gastric Illness

Expert Travel Lawyers Investigating Illness At Club Omar Khayam

19.02.2016

An angry group of 13 holidaymakers has instructed expert travel lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate after their 11-night break at Club Omar Khayam in Hammenet, Tunisia was ruined by gastric illness suspected to be Salmonella.

The group consisting of extended family and friends from Sheffield who were hoping for a relaxing holiday, but a number of members of the group were struck down with symptoms of gastric illness just days into their trip booked through tour operator TUI UK Limited trading as SkyTours.

Keith Knight, 67, fell ill on around the fourth day of the holiday suffering with chronic diarrhoea, stomach cramps and loss of appetite. His symptoms continued throughout his whole holiday making it difficult for him to leave the room and enjoy what was supposed to be a relaxing time away. 

On his return to the UK, he visited his local GP, where he was told he had contracted Salmonella. It took weeks following Keith’s return for him to fully recover from the acute phase of his illness.   

Keith’s wife, Margaret, 71, also experienced similar symptoms around the same time and remained unwell for the remainder of the holiday. The majority of the group suffered gastric illness symptoms.

Jane Hollingworth, 48, another family member travelling with her daughter Kelly-Jay Ahmed, 17, both experienced gastric illness and described the conditions at the hotel as unsanitary.

Jane told her legal team at Irwin Mitchell that the hotel in general was unclean, on one occasion Jane reports seeing faeces in the hotel swimming pool, which was removed with a net and holidaymakers were asked to vacate the pool for an hour. 

She also reported that tables in the restaurant were generally left dirty, cutlery and glassware was often stained and the hot food was severed lukewarm on occasion. Flies were also observed on and around the food on a number of occasions.  

Clare Pearson, a specialist travel illness lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, representing the family, said:

Expert Opinion
“This large family holiday was completely ruined by illness which has led to them to come to us to help them get the answers they deserve about what caused them to fall so ill.

“Illnesses of this nature are very serious and can, in some cases, lead to long-term impacts, or even fatalities. The immediate priority now is ensuring anyone affected receives the help and support they need, as well as identifying the cause of the illness as soon as possible.

“As we conduct our investigations we ask anyone who has stayed at the Club Omar Khayam and may be able to help provide information about the conditions, to get in contact with us as they may be able to help with our enquiries.”
Clare Pearson, Associate

Keith, a retired mechanic, added: “The whole experience was extremely distressing for myself, my wife and the rest of my family and friends. My symptoms continued throughout my stay and some of the group who also became ill continued to suffer even after coming back. It really is the last thing you expect when you go on holiday.

“My wife Margaret complained to the TUI representative about our illnesses and the food while on holiday but she told us nothing could be done and to complain on our return to the UK. 

“Since returning to the UK Margaret telephoned the tour operator to complain and advise that one of the party was suspected to be suffering with Salmonella.

“We are now hopeful that Irwin Mitchell will be able to investigate the matter further and get us the answers we feel we deserve about the terrible illness we suffered.”