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Egypt holidays ruined by
Several British holidaymakers have begun claims for compensation after their holidays were ruined by poor hygiene standards at a resort in Sharm El Sheikh last month.
Karen Garcia, a specialist holiday claims lawyer at Fentons Solicitors LLP, said she was currently acting for a number of holidaymakers who contracted severe food poisoning whilst staying at The Oriental Resort Hotel in June 2013.
“We’ve received several enquiries from angry Thomas Cook customers who became severely ill whilst holidaying in Egypt,” she said. “The clients we’ve spoken to complained that general hygiene levels at the all-inclusive resort were woefully poor, especially around the swimming pool, restaurant and toilets.
“According to the accounts we’ve heard so far, the hotel toilets were hardly ever cleaned and the ones around the pool and at the beach in particular were often left disgustingly dirty,” she added. “One guest said the swimming pool was absolutely filthy and in the entire two weeks she was there, she never once saw it being cleaned.”
Karen said that some of those affected described how tablecloths were never changed; plates, glasses and cups were always dirty; and hotel staff had been seen simply rinsing used glasses out with tap water and then refilling them again with drinks. “We’ve also heard incredible reports that the restaurant and pool bar smelled awful because the surrounding gardens were watered with sewage water, and that food was often left unprotected in the open covered in flies and within easy reach of feeding birds,” she said.
“When a mother and her three children all became sick after eating at the hotel, they were advised to buy medication against E. coli and salmonella,” she said. “Their symptoms then took weeks to clear and continued even after they returned from their holiday. One woman who suffered severe stomach cramps throughout her holiday had to be hospitalised for six days with salmonella poisoning when she returned to the UK.
“In one party of 18, all-but-one of the holidaymakers became severely ill and ended up paying more then a hundred pounds in the local pharmacy after spending their entire first week in bed with severe stomach cramps, vomiting, diarrhoea and joint pains,“ she added. “Apparently, even though all the hotel staff and holiday reps knew that there was some kind of stomach bug going around the resort as nearly every guest was ill, no preventative measures were ever put in place.
“These reports simply beggar belief and frankly, it isn’t at all surprising that so many guests became ill,” said Karen. “Tour operators are duty bound to ensure that the accommodation, food and toilet facilities they offer are all safe and hygienic for their customers and that holidaymakers are not exposed to the risk of injury, disease, or infection.”
Karen said that because she dealt with so many cases each year involving people who had contracted some form of illness or disease whilst on holiday she was accustomed to hearing such stories.
“In this case however, it is staggering to hear so many independent enquiries coming in that all consistently described how filthy the toilets, eating areas and swimming pool were and how so many people were spending the majority of their time being repeatedly ill as a result,” she said. “It just goes to show what little regard was paid towards maintaining standards of hygiene - standards which were so utterly appalling that so many people’s holidays were completely ruined in one month alone.
"People go on holiday expecting to enjoy themselves without the fear of contracting what could turn out to be a serious illness,” added Karen. “In situations where customers become sick because the holiday firm they booked their trip through fails to live up to its duty of care, it is only right that the customer should expect to be compensated."
Have you been affected?
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.
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