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Mexican Illness Outbreak Ruins Dream Trip For Hereford Holidaymakers

Holiday Illness in Mexico


Two Hereford families are taking legal action after their holiday to Mexico was ruined when they were all struck with gastric illness.

Jane Prothero (40) from Clehonger travelled with her husband Philip (42), their two children Leah (15) and Adele (7), along with their friends, Caroline Howell (43), from Madley, her fiancé Paul Morgan (40) and her daughter Ellis (12).

The 2 week trip to Holiday Village White Sands Hotel in Cozumel in May 2008, booked with tour operator, First Choice, had been planned as a special holiday to celebrate Mrs Prothero’s 40th birthday.

However, on arriving at the hotel the family discovered that there was an illness outbreak affecting many of the hotel guests and, whilst checking in, overheard several holidaymakers complaining about the situation to reception staff.

A few days into the holiday, all seven members of the group were also struck down with gastric illness, suffering diarrhoea, stomach cramps and sickness. As a result their much anticipated stay in Mexico was ruined and they were unable to participate in any of the excursions they had planned.

The two families allege that hygiene standards were poor in the hotel, with food in the restaurant left uncovered for long periods of time which allowed insects and flies to land on it. Mrs Howell also claims that during their stay items of her daughters clothing were stolen from their hotel room.

Although the group was later moved to the Sandos Beach and Spa Resort this second hotel was not to an expected standard either.

Mrs Prothero commented: "I was looking forward to celebrating my birthday with close friends and family in Mexico and now we have all returned with horrible memories of our bad experience at both hotels."

Vindika Jasinghe, an international travel specialist with Irwin Mitchell Solicitors, who is representing the group, said: “Sadly, this is not an isolated incident as every year we receive hundreds of complaints from holidaymakers who have been affected by illness.

"In many cases we find these outbreaks are as a result of a fundamental failure to ensure that basic health and hygiene procedures are correctly implemented by the hotel owner.  Holidaymakers should be able to look forward to their annual summer holiday without the fear of suffering health problems, as sadly happened in this case.  We expect to receive further instructions to claim compensation from other holidaymakers who stayed at the Holiday Village White Sands over the summer."