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Couple Take Legal Action After Holiday In Tunisia Ruined By Illness

Illness At Chich Khan Hotel


A couple from Scotland are taking legal action after their holiday in Tunisia was ruined by illness.

Martin Ormiston travelled with partner Janet Horan to the four-star Chich Khan Hotel in April this year.

The couple hoped to spend a week relaxing at the resort but are now taking legal action against tour operator Thomas Cook after Mr Ormiston was left with long-term illness symptoms that saw him lose his job.

Mr Ormiston suffered stomach cramps, diarrhoea and vomiting while on holiday and on his return home was diagnosed with Salmonella poisoning.

Months on from the traumatic holiday, Mr Ormiston and his partner have now instructed specialist travel lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate a compensation claim.

Lawyers at the firm expressed their concern over Salmonella being contracted at a hotel that was marketed as a family resort.

Mr Ormiston said: “What should have been a fantastic holiday to celebrate a major birthday turned out to be a complete nightmare. This was the first trip I have ever taken abroad, and it is likely that it will be my last.

“I was appalled at the standard of the hotel – it was certainly not worth a four-star rating. The meat they served often looked under-cooked and was not served hot, we were served eggs practically raw and swimming in liquid. New servings of food would be continually piled on top of cold leftovers so you never knew how long it had been sitting out. Cats and birds also frequently wandered through the restaurant and kitchen, where food was left uncovered.

“Even though I was very shocked at first by the Salmonella diagnosis, on reflection it makes sense that I had contracted such a serious illness because of the frankly dangerous levels of hygiene and food safety I encountered at the resort.

“This holiday has cost me so much, both in terms of loss of earnings and in quality of life. I lost my job as a temporary worker at a local factory due to the amount of time I was forced to take off work. It was nearly the end of June before tests came back negative for Salmonella, however I still suffer illness and I am awaiting further medical tests to assess the impact of this illness on a previous heart condition.

“My only consolation in the whole mess is that Janet did not come down with something as well. As she is a carer for her elderly father who depends upon her for everything, things could have been much worse. You would never think that a week in the sun could have such serious implications for so many people.”

Jenny Brooks, an expert in travel law at Irwin Mitchell, said: “Salmonella can pose serious risks to anyone who contracts it, but this case is of particular concern as one of the party was celebrating their 60th birthday. Gastric illness of any kind can be especially dangerous for older adults and children, and the Chich Khan is marketed by Thomas Cook as to be ‘enjoyed by the whole family’.

“We are very concerned that the health and welfare of British tourists has been put at risk and we will be pursuing claims for substantial damages on behalf of our clients.”