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Holidaymakers Struck Down With Illness to Claim Compensation

A group of holidaymakers who developed gastroenteritis while staying at a resort in the Dominican Republic intends to take legal action against the tour operator.

Ten people had travelled on the Thomson package holiday to the four-star Dreams Resort and Spa in Punta Cana, in order to celebrate the first wedding anniversary of Stephen Robson and his wife, Susan.

Nine of the party developed sickness and diarrhoea and most were treated by the hotel doctor. However, two of the men, Mr Robson and retired fireman Dirk Ord, were so ill that they had to be hospitalised. Both men and Mr Ord’s nine-year-old son still suffer from post infective irritable bowel syndrome. Mr Ord lost between four and five stone as a result of his illness.

The group believe that poor hygiene standards at the resort were to blame for their illness. They say that flies could access food on the hotel buffet and leftover food was mixed with fresh food. Also, food was served lukewarm or was not chilled sufficiently – which promotes the growth of bacteria.

If you have had your holiday ruined by illness and wish to claim compensation from the tour operator, you will need to demonstrate that the resort it has contracted itself to is the source of the sickness and that there was a failure to exercise reasonable care to prevent the infection or contamination.

Make sure you get as much evidence as possible and as quickly as possible. Photographs or films of unhygienic food preparation procedures or food left uncovered can be very useful, for example. Also, make sure your complaints are formally noted in writing and given to the holiday representative and/or the resort manager, and make sure you keep a copy. Exchange addresses with any potential witnesses or fellow sufferers. If you are admitted to hospital, retain a copy of your medical notes.

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.