Illness At Sofitel Taba Heights Hotel
Travel lawyers at Irwin Mitchell have received calls for assistance from holidaymakers taken ill following a stay at the Sofitel Taba Heights Hotel in Egypt in May 2010.
Irwin Mitchell already represents 10 guests who were taken ill at the hotel in 2008. Now lawyers are concerned that history may be repeating itself with more guests suffering illness.
Malcolm Harman and Janet Habgood are among the guests taken ill in 2010. They travelled with Portland Holidays and both suffered gastric illness, with Malcolm’s illness later being confirmed as salmonella.
Since returning to the UK the couple sought legal advice from the travel law team at Irwin Mitchell.
Rajbir Somel is representing the couple and said: "This illness outbreak is a cause for concern. We represent a number of clients who fell ill at the same hotel in 2008 who travelled to the hotel with First Choice, part of the same holiday group as Portland Holidays.
"One of our clients from the 2008 outbreak was diagnosed with Shigella which is a contagious and dangerous form of food poisoning. First Choice has admitted liability for these cases but the new outbreak leaves us wondering if lessons have been learnt."
Malcolm and Janet report that the same person who collected dirty laundry went straight to serve at the bar. They also say that food was often undercooked, cold or reheated, flies were landing on the buffet, the sprinkler system smelled of fertiliser and the tap water in their room was discoloured.
Malcolm was unable to work for 19 days and continues to experience symptoms. As he is self-employed this caused him further concern.
He said: "Every day I am not at work because of this illness I am losing money and it is extremely stressful. I have to pay for the chair at the barbers whether I use it or not and, having been forced to take time off work, finances are really tight. We were terribly ill with painful stomach cramps and sickness whilst on holiday and when we got home I was diagnosed with Salmonella.
"I just want to make sure no one else goes through anything even close to what we did. There were at least a dozen other people at the hotel who were ill and I am genuinely concerned for the health of people who stay there."
Rajbir Somel added: "It is entirely unacceptable to send holidaymakers to accommodation where hygiene standards are so poor that they contract severe gastric illnesses.
"We are extremely concerned about this case, as Irwin Mitchell represents a number of other clients who suffered from severe gastric infections, including Shigella, when staying at Sofitel Taba Heights hotel in 2008. It has been confirmed that Malcolm contracted Salmonella food poisoning, and it is clear that he and Janet were not the only ones to suffer illness this year."