Legal action against tour operator over illness
A couple from Swansea, who experienced severe gastric illness whilst on holiday in the Dominican Republic, are taking legal action against independent UK tour operator Global Travel Group.
Howell Evans (56) and his wife Glenda (53), from Swansea stayed at the Barcelo Capella Hotel, Dominican Republic in October 2008 for a 2 week all-inclusive break.
Within days of arriving, Mr Evans fell ill with diarrhoea, severe abdominal pain, a high temperature and vomiting. When he approached the resort tour rep to complain about his illness, he found a large number of other guests also complaining of similar symptoms. Mrs Evans also suffered with similar symptoms towards the end of the holiday.
Mr Evans said: "When we arrived at the Barcelo Capella hotel we found the rooms where appalling and the food was disgusting, which I believe resulted in us both suffering from food poisoning.
"My wife slipped on water leaking from a faulty air-conditioning unit and broke her wrist. We had previously reported the faulty air conditioning unit but this was not repaired. My wife was unable to work and therefore had to take time off, she was unable to cook or complete any household chores. She finds it hard to get up and cannot put pressure on her wrist as she finds it exceptionally painful.
"I suffered from gastric illness and even now, five months on, I still have continuing symptoms.”
Lisa Chopra from the travel law team at Irwin Mitchell Solicitors, who is representing Mr & Mrs Evans, said: “It is very concerning that a number of people have suffered from the same serious gastric illness symptoms after staying at this hotel and Mr and Mrs Evans are not the only people to have contacted us.
"We are currently investigating whether basic health and hygiene measures had been put in place to protect guests at this hotel.
"Every year we receive similar reports from holidaymakers, regarding poor conditions at hotels and large numbers of guests suffering with illness. In many cases we find these illness outbreaks are as a result of a fundamental failure to ensure that basic health and hygiene procedures are correctly implemented by the hotel owner and properly enforced by the UK tour operator. It is vital that tour operators ensure that the hotels they use are regularly audited and safe for guests to stay in."
"Holidaymakers should be able to look forward to their annual summer holiday without the fear of suffering health problems, as sadly happened in this case."