£1,750 Compensation for Accident on Holiday at Hotel in Spain

Paul Stevens
Associate Legal Executive, Holiday Claims

A Holiday Accident Claim Case Study – Client Situation

Our client was enjoying a family holiday with her husband and daughters at the Flamingo Oasis Hotel in Benidorm, Spain, when she suffered an injury. The first few days of the holiday went smoothly, with our client enjoying spending time with her family in the sunshine.

But one afternoon, when they were in their room getting ready to go out for the evening, a ceramic tile with a metal plate on the back fell down from the bathroom ceiling as her daughter exited through the main door.

When the tile fell from the ceiling, it landed on the left hand side of her head and then her left shoulder. While she wasn’t left with any visible injuries, she was shocked by the incident and suffered pains in her neck, left shoulder and arm.

She believed the backdraft from the door closing somehow dislodged the ceramic tile and caused it to fall. The tile had a metal plate on the back, with a round connection so it could be attached to an extractor fan pipe. A large piece of the pipe was hanging from the hotel room ceiling through the hole where the tile had come from.

Her husband phoned reception to report the accident and a member of staff came to the room to apply sealant to the tile and pipe and put them back in place. He also put sealant on two other tiles next to the wardrobe as they were also loose.

Our client bought some deep heat from the pharmacy and applied it to provide pain relief, but struggled to sleep that night. She also took paracetamol and the painkiller Tramadol, which she takes for a previous hip problem, but they didn’t help.

As a goodwill gesture, the hotel gave the family a bowl of fruit and teddies and T-shirts for the children. They were also offered a family pass to the waterpark, which our client believed was ridiculous as they knew she had a sore shoulder, arm and neck, and was therefore in too much pain to swim. On one occasion, she went in the indoor pool Jacuzzi, as she believed the water would help, but the power of the water hurt too much so she had to get out.

Her injuries meant she struggled with everyday tasks such as getting dressed and washing, so she had to rely on help from her family. Although she tried to go out as much as she could, she had to spend lots of time on the bed in their room, and as a result, the rest of the family occasionally had to go out without her.

Ultimately, she wanted the holiday to end and to go home, as she felt the holiday was ruined both for her and her family. At her husband’s suggestion, our client advised the rep from their tour operator TUI of what had happened and showed her photos of the tile on the bathroom floor and the pipe hanging from the ceiling. The rep completed an incident report which was sent to both TUI and our client.

Initially, she believed the pain and suffering would ease in a day or so, but in fact it got worse. Her pain persisted after the family returned back to the UK, so she made an appointment with her GP. The doctor examined her and told her she probably had a trapped nerve, caused by her jerking quickly when was hit by the tile. She was advised to keep using muscle rub, paracetamol and Tramadol to manage the pain.

However, the pain didn’t subside, so she booked an emergency appointment at the GP surgery and was prescribed Zomorph morphine capsules. The pain and discomfort started to ease, and it wasn’t until 2 weeks after returning home that she felt she’d made a full recovery.

How We Helped

Our client believed TUI was responsible for the injury she sustained and approached our Holiday Accident Solicitors for help to claim compensation. Associate Legal Executive Paul Stevens took on her case and approached the tour operator.

When negotiating with TUI, Paul argued that tile wouldn’t have been dislodged by the backdraft of the main door closing had it been properly secured. Furthermore, Paul argued that TUI had a responsibility to carry out health and safety risk assessments to ensure that the hotel was safe for holidaymakers. If this had been done, the tile would have been identified as a potential hazard and dealt with.

The Outcome

TUI offered to pay our client £1,750 in compensation, which she accepted.

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