Derbyshire Man Tore Ankle Ligaments In Accident
A man from Derbyshire who tore his ankle ligaments while on holiday in Egypt has won his battle for justice after a court ruled that tour operator Thomson had failed to ensure his safety.
Kevin Wright from Ripley was on holiday in Sharm El Sheikh in 2005. Mr Wright was using a private beach at the Hotel Tropicana Grand Oasis when he fell on an unsecured jetty that hotel staff were working on.
Mr Wright tore his ankle ligaments and had to spend the rest of his holiday in a wheelchair and with his leg in plaster.
On his return to the UK, Mr Wright had to take six months off work due to the severity of his injuries. He has since been forced to quit his job due to ongoing problems with his ankle.
At a trial at Birmingham County Court, the tour operator Thomson was found to be liable for Mr Wright’s ankle injuries.
The judge, His Honour Recorder Rees, criticised the tour operator and awarded Mr Wright £10,00 in compensation.
Travel lawyers at Irwin Mitchell represented Mr Wright and and are now calling on all tour operators to make sure that their resorts are safe and that regulations are enforced.
Nicholas Jackson from Irwin Mitchell’s travel law team said: "We had repeatedly tried to come to an amicable solution with Thomson but they have unnecessarily insisted on taking things all the way to court. It is a big relief for Mr Wright to win his battle for justice, it isn’t about the settlement it is about the principle of the tour operator taking responsibility for the safety of its customers.
"This is a tragic case of a man who has suffered injuries that could easily have been avoided had basic health and safety measures been put in place.
"Tour operators are responsible for ensuring the safety at the resorts their customers are being sent to. This incident is unacceptable and demonstrates a complete disregard for health and safety.
"We are now urging Thomson to ensure that measures are put in place to protect holidaymakers to avoid incidents like this in future."
Mr Wright said: "Thomson tried to claim that I didn’t even have an accident, despite being confined to a wheelchair with a cast on and reporting the incident to one of their holiday reps at the resort. It’s absolutely absurd and I’m relieved that this is now over and I can start to move on with my life."
Mr Wright was using a private beach at the Grand Oasis, sister hotel to his hotel the Tropicana Garden Palms. Users of the beach had to use a jetty to get into the sea, in order to protect a coral reef.
Mr Wright was on the jetty, supervising his son swimming, when he felt the jetty become unstable. The jetty had become detached from its mooring and Mr Wright saw other guests fall into the sea.
Hotel staff were unable to re-attach the jetty and guests were told to return to shore. Before Mr Wright was able to return to shore, the instability of the jetty caused him to be thrown to the floor.
Mr Wright attended a local hospital where it was confirmed that he had torn ligaments in his left ankle.
When he returned to the UK, Mr Wright was sent for physiotherapy by his GP.
Even now Mr Wright suffers pain in his ankle and he is apprehensive of using ladders, which meant he had to leave his job as a window fitter.
Mr Wright said: "It's been terrible over the past few years. I was a window fitter before the accident, but I couldn’t walk properly for six months after the incident and I still suffer pains in my ankle , so I no longer fit windows as I used to before the accident.
"Staff were working on the jetty when we arrived, but at no point were we, or any of the other guests, told that the jetty was unsafe to use.
"When it started moving around I was struggling to hold on as the jetty was swaying from side to side, but my main concern was for the safety of my son."