I have recently returned from the ‘holiday from hell’, whereby both my husband and I were unwell. Am I entitled to claim compensation?
Holiday illness claims:
Holidays vary from special occasions such as a honeymoon or anniversary, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity or a luxury cruise. This may be contrasted with a more ordinary package holiday taken every year. Sometimes things go wrong.
Assessing the value for loss for distress or inconvenience in such cases can be a complex exercise and as ever depends on the particular facts and establishing fault. Claims for illness are not new but a recent court decision unexpectedly permitted a holiday couple to rely upon consumer legislation in pursuing a claim for contaminated hotel food in order to hold the tour operator strictly liable to pay them damages.
Claims require clear evidence if they are likely to succeed. A gastric illness must be proved to have been caused by the particular food eaten on a particular day at a particular place. A doctor’s medical certificate would be a minimum requirement but that may do no more than confirm the diagnosis. To succeed in a claim it was necessary to go further and to identify specific failings and this can often be more difficult to establish. Mass outbreaks are not uncommon, frequently where multiple food choices are offered buffet-style.
Whether your claim relates to an illness or disappointment it is important to gather as much evidence as possible. No doubt the last thing on your mind when you suffering great distress and inconvenience and perhaps confined to your hotel room or cabin is to record or document the facts and matters that you will later need to rely upon to bring a successful claim for damages.
For further information please contact our Litigation team.
Hugh Storry Deans
Solicitor, Partner & Head of Dispute Resolution