TUI Urged to ‘Do the Right Thing’ as More Tourists Ill in Mexico

23rd May 2019

Holiday Compensation Lawyers representing more than 400 British tourists taken ill whilst on holiday in Mexico have today called on holiday operator TUI to ‘do the right thing’ amidst ongoing concern for the health and wellbeing of tourists travelling to Mexico.

The call to action comes further to claims that the travel giant is failing to pass on warnings from Public Health England and the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) about the presence of a bug called Cyclospora which causes severe vomiting and diarrhoea, as well as flu-like symptoms.

But despite the seriousness of the situation, Holiday Compensation Lawyers at Simpson Millar say none of its clients were told about the presence of the dangerous parasite before they booked the holiday, and many only received a warning letter after they had arrived at their resort.

Lawyers at Simpson Millar are representing over 400 people making holiday sickness claims after they were left battling horrific symptoms – in many cases requiring medical treatment and stays in hospital – during holidays to Mexico over a five-year period; including 300 guests in 2016 alone.

As part of the ongoing case, Simpson Millar’s Head of Travel Law, Nick Harris, said they had repeatedly called on TUI to do more to prevent others from suffering, but despite the prevalence of illness at the resorts in question little action appears to have been taken to warn future travellers.

The legal action relates to a number of resorts including the Sensimar Seaside Suites in Riviera Maya and Riu Caribe in Cancun.

Nick Harris went on to confirm that calls from 2019 holidaymakers who had returned from TUI holidays in Mexico as recently as this week and who were reporting ‘identical symptoms’ to those diagnosed with Cyclospora – a condition caused by consuming contaminated food or water - had started to come in. 

On Thursday, ITV’s Tonight programme interviewed a number of guests involved in the litigation – including Simpson Millar client Chris Gillan who was left vomiting blood and battling excruciating stomach pains after being taken ill whilst on a romantic getaway at the Sensimar Seaside Suites with his wife Marisa in June 2016

But instead of enjoying his hard-earned break – which the couple had booked in order to celebrate their fifth wedding anniversary – the self-employed engineer from Hertfordshire found himself in hospital and hooked up to a drip.

As part of the ongoing legal action, Simpson Millar’s Lawyers has made an application to the Court on behalf of the holidaymakers involved, seeking disclosure of the investigation TUI conducted following ABTA’s notification of the widespread Cyclospora outbreak at the Riviera Maya and Cancun.

Lawyers are also looking to have access to evidence from TUI that warnings were issued to their customers before their customers departed for Mexico.

To date, TUI have been reluctant to provide this disclosure ordered by the Court which has resulted in Court Orders with penal notices being issued and served on TUI Directors compelling them to cooperate or face possible further consequences, including potential imprisonment.

Nick Harris said, “Enough is enough. This has been an issue at these resorts for more than half a decade now, and yet still we are receiving calls from people who are being struck down with identical symptoms, in identical circumstances, dating back just days.

“TUI need to do the right thing, and if there is even the slightest risk that British tourists could be affected as a result of a debilitating bug such as Cyclospora then they need to be notified before they travel so that they can make a judgment call about what’s best for them and their families.”

According to Nick, a number of the holidaymakers taking legal action against TUI were left so ill that they had to seek further medical support when they arrived home to the UK, with many unable to return to work for many weeks due to the severity of the symptoms.

He said, “This isn’t a bug that should be taken lightly. Many of our clients were left struggling with horrific symptoms for many weeks after they returned to the UK, making it difficult to carry out basic everyday tasks such as picking up the kids from school, or doing the shopping.

“For some, it wasn’t feasible to return to work straight away and that has added an additional financial strain to an already horrendous situation.

“In my experience, when people suffer illness caused by a bug over a period of time it can also affect their confidence – with many left afraid to leave the house for fear of a sudden onset of diarrhoea, or sickness.

“Public Health England, as well as ABTA, have been quite categoric that tour operators must make people aware that there is a risk of illness at affected hotels before they travel. Not whilst on route, or when they are checking in!

“Holiday companies and tour operators have a duty of care to protect their customers, and we urge TUI to ensure that future tourists are protected and that this vicious cycle comes to an end once and for all.”

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