Food poisoning claim settles for £30,600 after illness at the Sol Cayo Coco


Simpson Millar LLP Solicitors have settled a claim for personal injury, after a suspected food poisoning outbreak at the Hotel Sol Cayo Coco in Cuba, which struck 10 holidaymakers between the 29th January 2012 and the 9th February 2012.

Cuba Holiday Illness

Their family holidays were inevitably spoilt by the illness as they each took refuge near their hotel rooms for the remainder of their stay, unable to enjoy the facilities and services included in their all inclusive package holiday.

Thomas Cook food poisoning and your right to claim compensation!

Fortunately, the group’s holiday was a regulated package holiday booked through the tour operator, Thomas Cook, as defined by Regulation 2 of the Package Travel (etc.) Regulations 1992. Our travel lawyers were therefore able to allege that the tour operator was liable in the UK for the improper performance of the contracts entered into with them.

All our clients suffered serious bouts of gastroenteritis whilst staying at the hotel which required medication to alleviate their symptoms. The amount of compensation that the group received following review of medical reports from an appointed gastroenterologist amounted to £30,600.

Prevention of illness and food hygiene in hotels in Cuba

The principles of good hygiene in all-inclusive hotels are basically the same as in any food-handling environment. The most important factors for consideration are that food should be cooked thoroughly and stored or maintained at the correct temperature. Proper attention to the cleanliness of food preparation areas is also a requirement of any reasonable food safety system.

For further information on acceptable food safety standards see the Food Standards Agencies website.

Evidence pointed to food poisoning at the Sol Cayo Coco

The evidence collated by Simpson Millar LLP as the claim processed was indicative of food poisoning caused by poor hygiene practices. Thomas Cook subsequently chose to settle the claim out of court albeit without admitting liability.

Mrs M. Hurst from Hull in Humberside who was asked to comment on the service provided by Simpson Millar LLP’s lawyers said:

"The service was good from start to finish in our case. There was not one thing which could be done to improve it. Service was 100% and couldn’t get and better."

Simon Lomax, the firm’s Holiday Accident and Illness Manager said:

"Claims of this nature are not straightforward as they concern foreign standards and complex issues of causation. The burden of proving improper performance of the contact by reference to Cuban health and safety standards is on the claimant, a point made by Thomas Cook during this claim."

"Without a pathogen identifying the cause of the symptoms it also left it open to the tour operator to allege that the claimants had not suffered food poisoning at the Sol Cayo Coco, but a virus – an argument which could have been supported because the UK was in the grips of a serious flu epidemic at the time our clients travelled to Cuba."

Holidays should not be ruined by food poisoning and poor safety standards and anyone who has suffered due to this could be entitled to make a claim.

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