Second Time in Two Years Holidaymakers Have Contacted Legal Experts After More Than 300 Guests Fall Ill at Same Rest In 2022
A group of British tourists have instructed lawyers to investigate after being struck down with gastric illness while holidaying at a five-star resort in Cape Verde.
Specialist international serious injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell have now been instructed by 15 people who stayed at the Hotel Riu Palace Santa Maria in Sal this summer, and who fell ill.
A couple from York and a retired financial advisor from Selby are among the group who all booked their holidays through tour operator TUI.
Lawyers also investigating after more than 300 people struck down by illness while on holiday at same resort last year
It is the second year in a row that British holidaymakers to the resort have instructed Irwin Mitchell to investigate illnesses. Last year more than 300 people also asked the law firm to investigate following an outbreak at the hotel which caused hundreds of holidaymakers to fall ill. Their cases are ongoing.
Jatinder Paul is the specialist international injury lawyer at Irwin Mitchell representing the group of holidaymakers.
Expert Opinion“We continue to be contacted by a growing number of people from across the UK who fell ill during holidays to the Riu Palace Santa Maria this summer and autumn.
“Many of our clients are reporting suffering the same serious symptoms. While this is concerning, what’s particularly worrying is these cases come after more than 300 people contacted us last year after being struck down with serious illnesses including severe sickness and diarrhoea while staying at the same resort.
“Naturally, our clients now want answers as to how they became so ill on a five-star holiday. We’re investigating those concerns and are determined to provide them with the answers they deserve.
“Gastric illness can lead to serious and long-term health complications and its impact should never be downplayed. It’s vital that those with concerns about the resort are now supported.
“If during the course of our investigations any issues are identified, action needs to be taken to reduce the risk of other holidaymakers falling ill in the future.” Jatinder Paul
Selby woman shocked by hygiene standards at Riu Palace Santa Maria In Cape Verde
Lisa Bradley from Carlton, Selby, is among those to ask Irwin Mitchell to investigate. The 58-year-old travelled to Cape Verde on 27 September with her best friend. She paid around £1,300 for her holiday.
Lisa, a retired financial advisor, started experiencing symptoms including diarrhoea on 1 October. Her friend took her to the on-site clinic where a doctor said she had dangerously low blood pressure and she should attend hospital.
Lisa was administered three bottles of intravenous fluids and a tablet for her heart. She was sent back to the hotel that night and told to return the next day, following which she was prescribed medication to ease stomach cramps, rapid rehydration sachets and tablets to treat prevent diarrhoea.
Lisa flew home on 5 October but still suffers from symptoms and visited her GP.
She said: “On the day my symptoms started I woke up at 5.30am with my stomach churning. I knew I wasn’t right but as the hours went by, I got worse. It was absolutely awful. It felt like someone was squeezing my heart and I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I’m not sure quite how I managed it, but somehow I got to the on-site clinic and then the hospital.
“I was totally wiped out for a few days and the holiday I’d looked forward to was ruined.
“I was shocked at the hygiene standards. Tables were left with remnants of food on and it seemed to take a long time for them to be cleared and cleaned. There were cats roaming around and flies everywhere.
“In the weeks before my holiday I’d started to see some social media rumours regarding issues at the hotel. I contact TUI two weeks before I was due to fly asking if I could change my holiday and I would pay the difference. However, I was told I couldn’t change it as it was too close to departure and there were no issues at the hotel.
“I’m annoyed that when I tried to raise concerns in advance I was told there weren’t any problems and was left with the choice of going on holiday or losing my money. I just feel the least I now deserve is answers as to how I fell ill.”
York couple struck down by illness on holiday out on a drip in hospital
Lorraine Wilson and her partner Mark Bonner holidayed at the resort between 18 October and 29 October, paying just under £4,000 for the holiday.
Four days in, the couple, both aged 42, of York, started suffering from serious gastric symptoms.
Mark, who runs a railway design company, started suffering from diarrhoea, explosive stomach cramps and a high temperature. Lorraine, who is self-employed and runs a holiday letting management company, experienced diarrhoea, stomach pains, a headache and flu-like symptoms.
After suffering for two days they visited the on-site clinic and were told to visit hospital where they were put on a drip and then prescribed medication to ease stomach cramps, rehydration sachets and probiotics.
Upon their return home the couple also visited their GP and are both still suffering from ongoing symptoms.
Lorraine said: “The enthusiasm and excitement we had about our holiday quickly vanished when we fell ill. We couldn’t even keep down water and I’ve never been so ill in my life. All I wanted was to be home.
“There were a lot of flies in the restaurant landing on things, food was left uncovered for very long periods and I saw new food being mixed with old food.
“There were bad smells around the resort especially near reception. The illness was bad enough, but we’ve also been left with the disappointment of our holiday being ruined.”
Mark added: “The holiday quickly went from what we hoped would be a dream trip to a disaster. What’s even more concerning is that we didn’t appear to be alone. We saw other holidaymakers who said they’d been poorly.
“We know nothing can turn the clock back and make up for what’s happened but the least we feel we deserve is answers.”