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Fight For Justice Continues Following Fatal Italian Salmonella Outbreak

Salmonella Poisoning Diagnosis


Holidaymakers Taken Ill At Lake Garda Hotel

Lawyers have confirmed that nine holidaymakers, including the widow of a man who died after contracting Salmonella food poisoning, are to continue their fight for justice in court.

Travel law specialists at Irwin Mitchell say that the victims have no choice but to issue legal proceedings as the tour operator, TUI UK Ltd, has repeatedly failed to consider the full extent of their suffering and loss when negotiating compensation, although the travel firm has accepted liability.

The victims stayed at the Grand Gardone Hotel in the Lake Garda area of Italy. The holidaymakers suffered with sickness, diarrhoea and cramps during their stays.

71-year-old Geoffrey Appleyard contracted Salmonella at the resort and a coroner directly linked the infection to his death.

Vishal Mahay, a solicitor specialising in holiday illness claims, is representing the group. He said: “One man died, dozens were hospitalised, and six of our clients are continuing to experience painful symptoms two years on. So for TUI UK Ltd to have accepted that they were at fault, but refuse to ensure that the victims receive the money they need to start rebuilding their lives and putting this ordeal behind them is nothing short of an insult.”

In 2009, Worcestershire Coroner Geraint Williams investigated and criticised standards at the Grand Gardone Hotel. He said: “Mr and Mrs Appleyard went on holiday in Italy on a recommendation and, although the hotel seemed very picturesque, there was a very dark side in the kitchen and cellars where there was a virulent contamination of Salmonella in the foodstuffs.

“This was served to the guests and, as a consequence, a large number of guests became ill. Mr Appleyard died because he was not able to withstand this infection.”

Patricia Miller from Essex was also ill while staying at the hotel. Her gastric symptoms were so severe that she was rushed to a local hospital and put on an intravenous drip.

Mrs Miller, a retired teacher, was diagnosed with Salmonella poisoning and later developed septicaemia. Her condition was so serious that she was moved to an infectious disease hospital in Brescia where she received specialist treatment.

Mrs Miller said: “I just can’t believe that TUI is making us relive everything we have been through in court. They have already said that they were at fault so why not stand up and do the right thing.

“This wasn’t a bit of sickness and diarrhoea for goodness sake. Someone died and others contracted serious life threatening illnesses and faced days in a foreign hospital. We were terrified.

“I am still suffering from health problems even now and I may never feel 100% again, and for the tour operator to show such a lack of concern for what has happened is an utter disgrace.”

Vishal said: “Tour operators are responsible for the wellbeing of their guests throughout the duration of their holiday and must ensure the very highest standards of health and hygiene are met at every hotel and resort they work with.

“There is no denying that Salmonella is extremely dangerous, one man tragically died. But there is also a large risk of long-term health problems for people who suffer from food-poisoning. Around 40 per cent of the clients who contact us for help continue to suffer many years later.

“We have tried to amicably resolve this matter through a number of attempts to negotiate a fair settlement with TUI UK Ltd. But, after more than two years, we have been forced to continue the battle for justice on behalf of our clients in court so that they can finally have access to reasonable, fair compensation that takes into consideration the heartache, physical and emotional suffering, and loss of earnings they have endured.”