Couple win 11,000 holiday sickness compensation

Source of Article:

23 June 2009

By Jenny Simpson

A couple have won 11,000 compensation after their dream Caribbean holiday left one of them in hospital.

Steven Cliff, 24, and girlfriend Rebecca Robson, 23, booked a 1,300 all-inclusive fortnight in the Dominican Republic to celebrate Rebecca's birthday and the end of her university exams.

But the couple's first break abroad together was ruined when they contracted gastroenteritis while staying in an apartment at the Bahia Principe hotel in San Juan.

Electrician Steven, of Cabus, near Garstang, was taken by ambulance to hospital with severe stomach pains. He was one of hundreds of holidaymakers to fall ill after staying at the hotel two years ago.

Steven said: "Towards the end of the first week, I started suffering from stomachache. By the start of the second week, I couldn't leave the hotel room, I was in so much pain.

"I went to see the doctor on site and he called an ambulance to take us to hospital. They said if I didn't improve, I wouldn't be able to go home but I discharged myself after two days because I just wanted to get out of there."

The couple are among more than 500 holidaymakers to have now won a share of 2.5m compensation from tour operators.

The hotel was also linked to outbreaks of shigella, a bowel infection linked to dirty water, E-coli and salmonella.

Steven said: "We had no option but to eat in the hotel; it was in the middle of nowhere.

"There was that many people ill, suffering from dehydration, that the complex ran out of bottled water. It's a shame, the first few days there had been fantastic."

Clive Garner, head of travel litigation at law firm Irwin Mitchell which won Steven compensation, said: "This was an astonishing outbreak at a hotel which should have offered its guests a dream holiday in the Caribbean.

"There was a flagrant disregard for their customers' health and safety."



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