Gastroenteritis in Majorcan hotel leads to children's compensation from TUI


Two children who fell ill during their Spanish holiday have been awarded compensation from the holiday firm TUI.

When they became ill the sisters, at the time aged respectively 10 years and 22 months, were with their parents at the Club Mac Resort Complex, Hotel Saturno, in Alcudia.

Both contracted gastric illness within 3 days of each other, ruining the rest of their holiday and causing the family a great deal of concern. The condition of each girl was later diagnosed as gastroenteritis.

Unwell after just 1 day

The 10 year-old began to feel ill on 26 August, the 1st full day of the holiday, initially vomiting and later suffering from severe, watery diarrhoea. She also experienced stomach cramps, which would continue to plague her for 3 weeks.

A local doctor was called to the hotel and the girl was given anti-emetic and anti-cramping medication, as well as painkillers and a probiotic.

"Completely exhausted"

During her period of acute symptoms, she experienced fever, headaches, tiredness and fatigue, her mother noting that the youngster had experienced "complete exhaustion" and was "the poorliest [she] had ever seen her". The 10 year-old lost half-a-stone in weight.

The younger girl started to feel unwell 3 days after her sister, spending the next 3 days vomiting and suffering from severe diarrhoea for a week. During this time she was also tired and out of sorts, running a high temperature. "She cried a lot as if in pain, but was too young to communicate her feelings," her mother said.

The little girl was visited by a local doctor who requested, but could not obtain, a urine sample. On a 2nd doctor's visit on 31 August, she was prescribed Augmentin, an antibiotic.

Although her acute symptoms were resolved after 7 days, she continued to suffer mild diarrhoea for up to 2 weeks after the holiday.

Was it contaminated food, drink or swimming pool water?

"Our case for compensation was based on the premise that the 2 girls' respective illnesses were caused by contaminated food and/or drink, or alternatively dirty swimming pool water," said Simpson Millar LLP's Andrew Tarling.

"It's worth noting that, prior to becoming ill, neither of the sisters consumed any food or drink outside the hotel."

Andrew observed that the tour operator took no notice of our clients' complaints and ignored us for extended periods of time. "TUI failed to respond to letters, disclose documents or comment on liability, even though they're obligated to do so."

"We persevered and obtained a total settlement of £4,606, with which the family were happy and which the judge – the court's involvement turned out to be unavoidable – said was reasonable."

Top tips to take away:

  • Travel operators are responsible for their hotel partners – and word from the web suggests more guests of this hotel are falling ill with gastric problems
  • Be aware that ingesting dirty swimming pool water or poorly-prepared food can have severe consequences

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