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33 Holidaymakers Take Legal Action Following Illness In Dominican Republic

Food poisoning ruins holiday


A group of holidaymakers are taking legal action after alleged health & safety breaches at a hotel in the Dominican Republic led to a range of illnesses including Amoebic Dysentery and fears of quarantine for guests on their arrival back to the UK.

A total of 33 holidaymakers who stayed at The Holiday Village Golden Beach Hotel in the Dominican Republic over a three month period between December 2006 and February 2007 have contacted travel law specialists Irwin Mitchell.

The group are now taking legal action against their tour operators.

Amongst the travellers affected were a family of five from Worthing in West Sussex.

Grant Sivertsen-Rovik (38), wife Helen (36) and three children E'Den (9) Sienna (7) and Zabien (1) all travelled to The Holiday Village Golden Beach Hotel with tour operator First Choice in January 2007.

All five members of the Sivertsen-Rovik family became ill with sickness and diarrhoea whilst at the resort. Mr Sivertsen-Rovik became so ill that he was taken to hospital for treatment whilst on holiday.

Mr Sivertsen-Rovik, a qualified gas engineer, said: "The conditions were horrendous. Not only was the food served inedible, but the electrics and gas engineering at the hotel was dangerous. I saw electric wires sticking out, the air conditioning units were leaking and I could smell gas."

Mr Sivertsen-Rovik continued "I saw rats in the rafters in the hotel’s restaurant, and when I told the First Choice Representative about them he denied their existence."

Clive Garner Head of the Travel Law team at Irwin Mitchell said: "The reports of conditions in this hotel are very alarming. Tour operators have a duty to ensure that they utilise hotels and resorts that take health and hygiene seriously."

"The widespread reports of unsafe conditions indicate serious breaches of accepted practices in the hotel industry."

Caroline Sherwood (46) from Hawkinge in Kent also travelled to the resort with her husband Tony (53) their son, Carl (27) and Mrs Sherwood’s parents, Maurice (69) and Patricia Deverson (67) in January 2007.

Holiday from hell

Within days of arrival they were all suffering from extreme gastric complaints including sickness and diarrhoea.

Mrs Sherwood said "The situation was so bad that on the return flight home cabin crew were unable to serve food due to people being sick and having to urgently use the toilet on the plane. When we arrived at Gatwick Airport, Port Health were called and at one point we were told that we might have to be quarantined."