Hundreds Of Families From Across The UK Continue To Come Forward Having Been Affected By Gastric Illness In Cape Verde Hotels
More than 140 members of a British-based dance group are among the latest holidaymakers to come forward to take legal action after falling ill at a Cape Verde hotel with many still experiencing significant symptoms months after returning.
Those affected are part of a 200 plus-strong Northern Soul group who were on their first trip abroad post Covid restrictions. The group included group leader and organiser Kevin Bourne, 64, who is self-employed, from Wellingborough, Northamptonshire. He was one of many affected by gastric illness which clearly affected his enjoyment of the event..
Upon returning to the UK, members of the group initially reached out to TUI and followed their complaints procedure. However, after receiving little to no response, they have now instructed specialist international serious injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate. Irwin Mitchell have been approached by scores of holiday makers who stayed at the Riu Funana that tested positive for a variety of serious bacterial infections, including shigella, E.coli, salmonella and campylobacter.
All involved had been on holidays booked through tour operator TUI, staying at the 4-Star Riu Funana hotel in Cape Verde. This follows almost 1,000 holidaymakers who have now instructed the law firm Irwin Mitchell after falling ill at seven hotels in Cape Verde last year, including the Riu Funana.
The firm has vast experience of successfully representing many thousands of holidaymakers who have suffered serious illness or injury abroad over the last decade.
Expert Opinion“We’re already representing almost 1,000 British people who fell ill in hotels in Cape Verde last year so it’s concerning to receive these further reports of illness. What’s particularly concerning is the sheer numbers of those affected, many of whom have undergone medical tests and have been diagnosed with serious bacterial infections by doctors.
“Shigella, E.coli, salmonella and campylobacter are all very serious pathogens which can lead to severe illness and even death in some cases. Their effects should never be underestimated.
“Understandably Kevin and many others have a lot of questions on how he and many of his group fell ill and we are committed to providing them with the answers they deserve and to help compensate them for what they have gone through.
“If during the course of investigations issues are identified, it’s vital that lessons are learned to prevent other holidaymakers falling ill in the future.” Jatinder Paul, Senior Associate Solicitor
Kevin travelled to the Riu Funana for a three week stay from 5-26 October as the leader of a 200-strong Northern Soul group, when over 140 of them fell ill with gastric symptoms.
He arranged the trip on behalf of the group and hired a room at the hotel in which they were due to dance each evening. Kevin became ill on 14 October with sickness and diarrhoea and was confined to his room for two days.
Kevin reported that much of the food at the hotel was served lukewarm and he saw fish being reheated. He also saw new food being poured on top of old food in the buffet areas, and he did not notice any attempts to do anything about the flies that were swarming over the food.
Kevin said: “After being unable to meet for so long due to covid restrictions, this trip was meant to be a special opportunity for our group to all gather in one place. It was meant to be a special treat and celebration of Northern Soul that turned into a nightmare for us all.
“The food situation was awful, with reheated, lukewarm meals uncovered, with no protection from the flies. Instead of dancing, we were stuck in our rooms for days on end, with many of us still being ill on returning home.
“The sickness was some of the worst I’ve ever known. Many of us were ill for weeks afterwards and were unable to return to work. Being self-employed I had to continue working once I returned home despite still being unwell as the alternative was to have no money coming in. I’m told that the local resort pharmacy was under so much pressure from sick people, that it was running out of medication. It really was that bad.
“We all feel severely let down and I’m particularly angry as I organised this on behalf of the group. I now feel a responsibility to get all of us answers.
These latest cases follow those of Anthony Hoban and Richard Marshall. Anthony Hoban, 66, from Consett in County Durham, was another holidaymaker on a ten-day holiday at Riu Funana with his wife, Lesley Hoban, 61, from 7-18 September, when both started to fell unwell on 12 September.
Richard Marshall, 46, from Finden in Derbyshire, also fell ill while holidaying at Riu Funana in August 2022. Richard was so ill that he fell unconscious on the flight home and came to surrounded by paramedics and fellow passengers and was subsequently admitted to hospital for two days.