Travel lawyers set to take legal action against Sea Princess Cruises
Irwin Mitchell travel lawyers have announced that they are to begin legal action on behalf of distraught holiday makers who were aboard the cruise ship the Sea Princess when they were struck down with the Norovirus bug, forcing the ship to be brought back to the port of Southampton a day early.
Suki Chhokar, a specialist travel lawyer for Irwin Mitchell, said "We are currently running a group action claim against Princess Cruises and have taken instructions from over 100 clients. We intend to recover compensation for the illness suffered and the diminishing value and loss of enjoyment of our client's holidays."
Mr Chhokar, who has acted on behalf of thousands of holiday makers who have suffered illness or an accident abroad, has recently called for stricter hygiene measures following a spate of outbreaks onboard cruise ships. He said "The recent incidents of serious viral outbreaks aboard cruise ships could be avoided.
"There also needs to be slower turn around times whilst in port to allow for the boats to be thoroughly cleansed before taking on new passengers. More routine cleaning should also be undertaken during the voyage."
Mr Chhokar continued "Basic food and water hygiene measures must be in place and regular cleaning of key areas such as the toilets and kitchens is essential. Once an outbreak has been identified health advice must be given to all existing passengers and any new people joining the boat must be warned."
Travel lawyer action following numerous outbreaks on Sea Princess cruise ship
In the last couple of months at least three cruises aboard the Sea Princess have been affected by the Norovirus, or winter vomiting bug. Other cruises have also been hit by the bug which causes nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.
Mr Chhokar said "The fact that these outbreaks keep occurring would seem to suggest that standard health and hygiene methods are not being properly followed. Our clients are claiming they were not informed about previous outbreaks until they had boarded the ship."
Mr Mike Woodcock from Fangfoss in North Yorkshire, who's son Joshua (11) became ill with the Norovirus on the Sea Princess, said: "We were extremely disappointed when the apparently specially trained staff who were sent to sanitise our room failed to wipe any surfaces, and just sprayed quickly and then left. We were also very much aware that there was only a 4 hour turn around period between the previous cruise and ours, which in my opinion is evidence that the ship could not have been cleaned thoroughly before our departure."
Travel lawyers at Irwin Mitchell are currently taking instructions from over 100 holidaymakers who travelled on the Sea Princess and are urging other people who may have suffered on board the Sea Princess, or any other cruise ship, to come forward.
Do you have a claim? If you or someone you know has been affected by holiday illness or illness abroad, our travel lawyers can help - visit our illness abroad section.