Landmark £250K Food Poisoning Compensation Award to Assist Future Victims of Holiday Sickness Bugs


While many of us have been out for a meal on holiday or in a nearby restaurant only to find that we're left feeling a bit worse for wear later on, or in some cases been unfortunate enough to have suffered from food poisoning, we rarely ever consider that there will be long term effects from an undercooked piece of meat or poor hygiene will be. There are instances where long term effects can result in a change in quality of life that rival those felt by individuals who have experienced a personal injury, as a lady from Falkirk, Scotland found out.

Food awareness on holiday avoids sickness

Over £250,000 in Compensation

The BBC have reported how Tracey Rae, a 44 year old woman from Falkirk began experiencing severe symptoms that indicated that something was wrong having visited the Scotch Malt Whisky Society in Leith back in April 2009. She has since been awarded over £263,534 in compensation due to gastric illness and a resulting diagnosis of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) that she has suffered as a long-term condition as a result of ingesting contaminated food.

Initial Symptoms

Ms Rae advised the Scottish court that she suffered from a range of symptoms following the initial infection including stomach cramps, nausea and sweating after her meal in the restaurant at the Scotch Malt Whisky Society. She later passed blood and after having her stool sample tested it emerged that she had tested positive for Campylobacter; which is a form of food poisoning that is associated with contaminated meat and poultry.

On-going Health Problems

Unfortunately this Scottish woman's health problems weren't limited to her initial infection and following her first bout of illness, Ms Rae was advised that she had suffered from irritable bowel syndrome as a consequence of the infection which left her with symptoms that were likely to be last her for the rest of her life. These distressing and continuing symptoms include stomach cramps, spasms, increased visits to the toilet and the need to constantly take anti-diarrhoeal medication, drastically affecting Ms Rae's quality of life.

Illness Compensation and Quality of Life

Due to the consequences of her illness, time missed at work and consideration that will likely have been given to her on-going quality of life, Ms Rae was awarded £263,534.00 in damages. The decision made by the court in Edinburgh is likely to be helpful to the numerous victims who have also been unfortunate enough to have experienced holiday food poisoning. We recommend contacting a member of our team for advice on how to set up a claim similar to Ms Rae if you've been unfortunate enough to suffer similar symptoms following poorly prepared or undercooked food on holiday.

Paul Stevens who is our Group Holiday Illness Litigation Manager with a wealth of experience in providing help and assistance to those who have experienced food poisoning and holiday illnesses, some of which have resulted in lasting health concerns, has the following advice for those:

“For some reason it is not always recognised that people who suffer food poisoning and long term injuries to their digestive system, should not be entitled to the same level of compensation as people that suffer injuries and breaks to their limbs”.

“This award should help to redress this balance and send a message to tour operators about the compensation and costs they may have to pay out if they do not ensure safe standards of food hygiene at the hotels they feature.”

“In this case there were particular circumstances as to why the compensation award was so high and typical court awards for IBS for a few years following an acute phase of food poisoning tend to be in the region of £10,000.00.”

Get Advice from Specialist Solicitors

At Simpson Millar our specialist team of Holiday Claims solicitors provide assistance to victims of food poisoning contracted at overseas hotels and resorts, giving our clients the advice that is necessary to make a claim and receive the compensation that they are entitled to.

We deal with all of our enquiries in a delicate and confidential manner and if necessary we can arrange for a consultation with a gastroenterologist in order to determine what infection you had and what potential on-going health issues you may experience. Assessing these criteria will help in getting a more accurate valuation of your claim and ensure that like Ms Rae; you receive the compensation that you are entitled to.

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