Holiday Illness in Tunisia
Over 20 holidaymakers from across the UK are taking legal action after they were affected by an outbreak of illness whilst on holiday in Tunisia in October 2007.
5 families are currently taking legal action with many more thought to be considering taking action for hotel illness. Amongst those who have instructed law firm Irwin Mitchell are a family of 4 from Chesterfield, Derbyshire, who all fell ill with gastric related symptoms whilst staying at the Houda Golf and Beach Club Hotel in Tunisia.
Mrs Jennifer Walker (48) and her husband, Stephen (44) with their two children Lydia (11) and Kyle (13) all became ill with gastric-related symptoms of diarrhoea, stomach cramps, high temperature, vomiting and headaches. They reported their illness to the Tour Representative but, they claim, nothing was done to help them.
The families had numerous complaints about the holiday including the standard of the food which they described as very poor, not served at the correct temperature and left uncovered for long periods of time. They also noticed birds in the eating areas and cats dwelling by the pool and outside eating areas.
The family has been saving for this holiday for two years. Mrs Walker reported that she was extremely disappointed that the hotel was double the size she expected after relying on the promotional material issued by their tour operator First Choice, who they are now taking the action against. This was important to Mrs Walker as her son Kyle suffers with a form of autism and overcrowding and large amounts of people can panic him.
Mrs Walker commented “What should have been a dream holiday turned out to be a nightmare. It was a disaster from start to finish, it took 4 attempts to find a room as every room we were given was already occupied. The illness just made things so much worse. When I returned to the UK I visited my doctor and was subsequently diagnosed with the bacterial infection Campylobacter, and had to remain off work for a week.”
Francesca Sandiford, from the Travel Law team at Irwin Mitchell Solicitors who is representing the party, said: “We are very concerned about the hygiene standards reported, as well as the Walker family we have been informed that potentially many other families at the hotel were also affected by gastric illness.
Miss Sandiford continued: “This isn’t the first time we have taken legal action on behalf of people who have stayed at this hotel. We have in the past won compensation for holidaymakers following a number of separate outbreaks of illness at the hotel over recent years. Damages were awarded against tour operators who have a responsibility to ensure that all reasonable steps are taken to safeguard the health and welfare of their customers. Often simple hygiene measures can make all the difference in avoiding the transmission of illness, which can often lead to long lasting symptoms and sometimes major effects on the quality of life of victims of all ages.”