Cruise virus outbreak could lead to compensation - holiday claims specialist

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Cruise virus outbreak could lead to compensation - holiday claims specialist

7th July 2009

The latest suspected outbreak of the norovirus winter vomiting bug could lead to hundreds of holidaymakers making claims, according to a lawyer specialising in holiday compensation cases.

News outlets across the country were today reporting how more than 150 of the passengers on board a cruise liner have fallen ill after a suspected outbreak of the virus, the symptoms of which include sickness and abdominal cramps.

Sky News
BBC
The Telegraph

The virus affects up to one million people in the UK every year, but Phillipa Roberts, holiday legal specialist with Fentons Solicitors LLP, believes that holidaymakers have the right to expect protection from the spread of such illnesses.

"Tour operators have a duty to ensure that holidaymakers' accommodation is safe and hygienic, and that they are not exposed to the risk of injury, disease, or infection," said Phillipa. "That includes cruise liners, particularly as while the norovirus is fairly common, its effects can be more serious when outbreaks occur in confined spaces.

"It is not usually dangerous," said Phillipa, "but the effects can be very serious for the elderly or infirm, and for young children."

While the circumstances surrounding this latest suspected outbreak have still to be determined, Phillipa said the incident served as a stark reminder for all holiday firms to ensure adequate measures were in place to prevent the spread of infection.

"We deal with hundreds of cases every year where people have contracted some form of illness or disease while on holiday," she said. "People have the right to expect to enjoy their holiday without the fear of contracting what could turn out to be a serious illness. In those situations where a holiday firm fails to live up to its duty of care, it is only right that the customer is compensated."

How can Fentons Solicitors help?
Fentons has a specialist department experienced in handling claims relating to holiday accidents and illness. 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.