Victims of latest cruise virus outbreak could claim compensation

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Victims of latest cruise virus outbreak could claim compensation

27th January 2010

An elderly couple from Norwich have become the latest victims of the norovirus winter vomiting bug, in a suspected outbreak which could lead to hundreds of holidaymakers making claims according to a lawyer specialising in holiday compensation cases.

The pensioners embarked on a two-week cruise of the Canary Isles and Madeira, but after they spent just half a day enjoying the sights of Lanzarote on their first day trip they became ill. The former engineer was violently ill for three days and his wife for another two days.

By the time the couple were allowed back on deck, the Fred Olsen Cruise Lines ship, called the Boudicca, was heading back to port in Portsmouth a day early because a number of passengers had been taken ill.

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

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

While the circumstances surrounding this latest suspected outbreak have still to be determined, Katherine said the incident served as a 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.

Source - Norwich Evening News