Families Were Not Warned Of Outbreak By Tour Operator Thomson Before Arriving At Hotel
Four families are taking legal action to investigate how their Thomson holidays to a hotel in Menorca were ruined by an outbreak of hand, foot and mouth disease present at the hotel, which forced some holidaymakers to return home early and some to seek medical treatment in resort.
A Colchester family who were not told before travelling of the on-going hand, foot and mouth outbreak at a Menorcan hotel by tour operator Thomson are one of three families to have instructed expert international personal injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell after their one-year-old daughter became ill.
Danielle Moore, 22, her partner Charlie Butler, 26, and their daughter Bonnie, one, visited the Family Life Mar De Menorca hotel in September 2016.
They booked the holiday through tour operator Thomson and have expressed their concern that they were not warned of the hand, foot and mouth outbreak before they travelled to the hotel and that had they been informed they would not have put Bonnie at risk.
The disease is an infection that causes mouth ulcers and spots on the hands and feet and is particularly common in children under the age of 10.
Just a few days into the holiday Bonnie developed a fever and a high temperature. In the following days she developed spots on her arms, legs and around her mouth, which later became a full rash.
A total of 17 holidaymakers have now instructed Irwin Mitchell to investigate the outbreak at the hotel. Some people returned home early to get medical treatment in the UK.
Clare Pearson, an expert international personal injury lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, representing the 17 holidaymakers, said:
Expert Opinion“The hand, foot and mouth disease outbreak at the Family Life Mar De Menorca is obviously extremely concerning as children are more susceptible to the disease and the hotel is advertised as a 'destination well suited to families'.
“The people who have contacted us were shocked that they were not informed of the outbreak before they arrived as many of them would not have chosen to stay at the hotel had they known of the problems. This is of particular concern for some holidaymakers who had young children and were pregnant at the time of their holidays.
“It is spread from person to person and can be spread from contact with contaminated surfaces so proper hygiene measures are key to the prevention of the spread of the infection. Our clients have told us that not all guests who were reporting illness were confined to their rooms and that they did not see many additional precautions in place to reduce the spread of the disease.
“They have also reported to us concerns they have about how details of the outbreak were communicated to guests at the hotel and they also have a number of hygiene and safety concerns we will be investigating in the hope of providing them with some answers about the way this outbreak was handled.
“We would like to hear from anyone who suffered similar problems at the hotel this summer who may be able to help with our investigations.” Clare Pearson - Legal Executive & Associate
Danielle, from Colchester, told her legal team that the soft play area was not very clean, that highchairs were not disinfected after being used and that the same cleaning equipment was used in all rooms, irrespective of whether guests were displaying symptoms.
Danielle, who took time off work to look after Bonnie on their return to the UK, said: “It was quite frightening for us when Bonnie developed a fever and a rash on her legs, arms and mouth and we really had no idea what was wrong. Thankfully, she is now on the mend but we had all sorts of things running through our minds.
“Nobody seemed to care about what had happened to her and we didn’t get very much information or assistance from the tour reps or the hotel. The first thing we knew about the hand, foot and mouth outbreak was after speaking to other holidaymakers and then a piece of A4 paper went on the wall in reception to advise that it was hand, foot and mouth, but it really wasn’t very obvious and some people may never have seen the notice advising of the outbreak at the hotel.
“We were told by a nurse at the local hospital we took Bonnie to that they had been treating holidaymakers from the hotel with the disease for weeks. Had we been warned of what had been going on at the hotel we would never have put Bonnie at risk.
“We hope by taking legal action we will get the answers we are seeking following our ordeal.”
If you or a loved one has suffered a serious illness while abroad, our accident and illness abroad solicitors could help you to claim compensation. See our Illness Abroad Claims page for more information.