Strength in Numbers
illness at hotels and onboard cruise ships involving large numbers
of holiday makers are now commonplace.
What is a Group Action Claim?
A group action compensation claim is when holiday makers affected by the same problem
join together in force.
The benefit of being part of a group action compensation claim
is strength in numbers. Tour operators find it difficult to
deny allegations of food poisoning when a group of you are complaining about the same problem. The evidence of
a group of holiday makers is much stronger than the evidence of an individual holiday
outbreak of illness at an hotel occurs it is therefore important that affected
holiday makers form groups and exchange names and addresses and keep in touch.
Why are holiday illnesses commonplace?
Illness amongst groups usually happens because guests at all-inclusive hotels
and onboard cruise ships share the same facilities
eg swimming pools and meal services.
The possibility of contact with infected people
and the chance of sharing food and water that is contaminated
are significantly increased.
If something goes wrong then it is likely that
a group of people will be affected.
Don't believe everything your tour operator says....
Tour operators are quick to claim that the cause of an illness
outbreak is probably due to an "airborne virus", a "norovirus" or a
"bug". Tour operators usually claim that other guests or passengers introduce
viruses which are then passed on like common colds.
Tour operators claim outbreaks of illness are viral
to escape their liability to compensate sick customers. This is
because viral infections cannot be foreseen or avoided unlike bacterial infections
which can be avoided by, for example, cooking food thoroughly and ensuring that
systems for hygiene control are adequate and procedures are in place to control
the spread of infection.
In our Experience...
Our experience is that outbreaks of illness at hotels and onboard
cruise liners are not usually viral but more often bacterial
and caused by failings in food hygiene standards
and water treatment.
We often find that serious breaches of food hygiene
especially in the preparation of food can lead to contamination with bacteria including
salmonella, ecoli and campylobacter being the most common causes
The stories we often hear include wild birds feeding off buffet counters in restaurants
in the Dominican Republic and food being reheated and served lukewarm
Failing to ensure that food is fit for human consumption is simply unacceptable
and the tour operator is responsible.
Watch out for the water...
Swimming pools and water treatment plants are also common sources
of infection and can harbour the cryptosporidium bacteria. Often water supplies become subject
to faecal contamination.
Containing the outbreaks
If an outbreak of sickness is not swiftly contained
then the problem rapidly escalates. Swimming pools become breeding
grounds for bacteria and infected swimmers will contaminate the water.
Simpson Millar LLP Solicitors has extensive experience of assisting groups of
holiday makers who have suffered from illness abroad
particularly in countries such as the Dominican Republic and Egypt where sanitation and general health standards are
not as high as we enjoy here in the UK.
If you have been affected by an illness then please contact us for free holiday
compensation advice. Our Specialists offer a
"no win no fee" service.
Call us now on Freephone: 0808 145 1353 or complete our no-obligation
online enquiry form and we will get in touch with you.