Group Of Holidaymakers Instruct Lawyers After Contracting Parasitic Illness In Turkey

Honeymooning Couple And Young Boy Affected By Illness On Thomson Holiday


Hayley Court, Press Officer | 0114 274 4255

A group of holidaymakers, including a couple on their honeymoon, and a seven-year-old boy whose holidays in Turkey were ruined by gastric illness have instructed expert lawyers to investigate their concerns and take legal action against their tour operator.

Honeymoon couple Stephen and Mari-Clare Cleary stayed at the four-star Pegasos Royal in Antalya with three-year-old daughter Millie in August 2016 following their wedding.

However, 11 days into the break Millie fell seriously ill with gastric illness that saw her bed-ridden with diarrhoea for the rest of the holiday.

The family from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, has instructed expert international personal injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to take legal action against TUI UK Ltd, the parent company of Thomson Holidays, after doctors back in the UK diagnosed Millie with Cryptosporidium, a parasite that causes serious gastric symptoms vomiting and diarrhoea.

Mari-Clare, 29, also fell ill with lethargy and stomach cramps when the family arrived home and, following a visit from Environmental Health officials was advised she could not return to the butcher shop where she works until she was declared fit and well.

A second family has also instructed the specialist team of lawyers at Irwin Mitchell after suffering similar problems at the Pegasos Royal at the same time as the Cleary family.

Lisa Fairweather, 34, her partner Derek Torrie, 34, and their son Jack, seven, from Gowanbank, Forfar, all suffered illness during the holiday and endured symptoms including vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach cramps and hot and cold sweats.

All three continued to suffer on their return to the UK. Lisa and Jack both underwent tests at their local GP. Lisa was told the bug she was suffering with had run its course but Jack, who fell ill after Lisa, was diagnosed with both Salmonella, a serious bacterial infection, and Cryptosporidium.

Jatinder Paul, an Associate Solicitor and expert international personal injury lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, who has represented hundreds of people affected by illness outbreaks in the UK and abroad, said the parasite can lead to long-term health implications for victims, particularly vulnerable people such as children.

He said: “Two young children from the families we represent have been diagnosed with Cryptosporidium, with Jack also suffering from Salmonella. Clearly, this is very concerning for their parents and we know from experience how serious the illness it causes can be for children.

"Holidaymakers have the right to feel safe and looked after at these resorts and that includes feeling assured that food available is safely prepared and swimming pools are kept clean and safe.

“There needs to be a clear understanding as to why this has happened to these families and reassurances that steps have since been taken by TUI UK Ltd to try and prevent the same thing happening again.

“Cryptosporidium and Salmonella can both have serious health implications for those affected and in our work we have seen first-hand the long-term issues that it can cause, from which some people may never fully recover.”

Both families have reported a number of hygiene and food safety concerns to their legal teams at Irwin Mitchell, including food, particularly chicken, being served undercooked and the pool being closed on a number of occasions due to people falling ill while in the pool.

“We would like to hear from anyone who was staying at the resort at the time who may also have suffered with illness as they may be able to help with our investigations.”

Mari-Clare said: “What was supposed to be a wonderful family holiday to celebrate our wedding turned into a complete nightmare. We were so worried about Millie who was really distressed and was obviously difficult to comfort being so young.

“The hotel was a disappointment from the minute we arrived, and far from what we expected from a four-star resort.

“We saw kitchen staff handling raw meat and cooked meat with the same gloves and Stephen took a bite out of some chicken and found it was raw inside. It’s not really a shock to us that other people suffered the same illness problems we did.”

Lisa said: “Our experience at the Pegasos Royal was terrible and we couldn’t wait to get home. Unfortunately, things didn’t improve when we got home and all three of us continued to suffer the horrendous symptoms.

“Derek was forced to take time off work and the illness has had a real impact on Jack. He’s been really shaken up by the whole thing and has had to take time off schools to recover. He’s still not 100 per cent but he’s getting back to normal slowly but surely.

“We want to know what caused our illness and encourage the tour operator to take steps to make sure this kind of thing doesn’t happen to people staying at the hotel in the future.”

Read more about the work of Irwin Mitchell's International Personal Injury Team here