Food poisoning claim only admitted once expert lawyer on board

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Food poisoning claim only admitted once expert lawyer on board

19th April 2011

A holidaymaker who contracted food poisoning whilst in Egypt has finally received compensation after he contacted a specialist holiday claims lawyer.

The man had been on an all-inclusive package holiday in the Red Sea resort of Sharm El Sheikh when he became very ill in September 2008. He spent 18 months trying to secure compensation from the tour operator, but when his letters went unanswered he realised he needed expert help.

Nicola Simpson, a member of the Travel and International Litigation team at Fentons Solicitors LLP, said the man's symptoms began towards the end of the first week of a fortnight stay. "He initially thought he might just have had too much sun, as he was shivering and had a high temperature, as well as the usual severely upset stomach," said Nicola. "The symptoms continued for the entire second week, and he was still suffering with an upset stomach when he returned home.

"When he was home from his holiday he underwent tests and his doctor confirmed he had Salmonella," she said. "He was given a course of antibiotics and strict instructions to stay away from work."

Nicola said although he recovered within a week or so of returning to the UK, he still gets stomach cramps which he believes are related to the Salmonella.

"When my client reported the incident to Environmental Health officers, they told him that four other people were ill at the hotel at the same time," said Nicola. "He wrote to the tour operator and they replied saying they were investigating the incident. He was sent some forms to complete and they also requested a doctor's report which he sent to them. But 18 months later he had still heard nothing."

Nicola said the client decided to send a last letter, threatening legal action if there was no response.

"As soon as my client had been in touch I wrote to the tour operator on his behalf, and just one week later they had admitted liability for his illness," said Nicola. "They contacted my client and offered him a cheque for £400 or a £500 holiday voucher in final settlement. We declined this offer and were able to demonstrate the severity of his symptoms, successfully negotiating a settlement of £2,450."

Nicola said the case should act as a warning to holidaymakers who might try to claim compensation themselves after suffering illness or injury on holiday.

"There are always people who recommend 'doing-it-yourself' when it comes to claims like this, but my client's experience showed how even some of the biggest tour operators will try to ignore complaints and claims for as long as they can, in the hope of avoiding paying compensation," she said. "But the best advice is to seek specialist advice as soon as you return from your holiday."

How can Fentons Solicitors help?
Fentons has a specialist department experienced in handling claims relating to illness or injury sustained whilst on holiday or travelling in a foreign country.

If you think that you have a case or require further information, contact Fentons on 0800 019 1297 or fill in the online claims questionnaire.