Lillian Foote and Geoff Humphries, who were accompanied by their seven-year-old granddaughter, were hit by a serious gastric illness whilst staying at the Hauza beach resort in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. The couple experienced sickness, abdominal pain and diarrhoea, which they specifically attribute to incompetence and poor organisation on the part of the travel company, The Freedom Travel Group. Ms Foote still suffers from the after-effects of this episode three years later. A number of other guests are known to have experienced similar illnesses at the same resort over recent years.
The couple told lawyers that standards of hygiene at the hotel were low, with buffet food left out for long periods of time and attracting flies. Meat was occasionally undercooked and there was no water provided in the rooms. When they did ask for drinks to be brought, they were delivered with the seal already broken. Reviews on the TripAdvisor site show very mixed feedback, with one recalling guests taking taxis to Burger King.
"I started to feel unwell only a few days into our stay at the hotel; I had to go to the chemist at the resort as the symptoms were not easing," said Ms Foote. "I suffer from diabetes and became increasingly concerned that as my condition got worse I may suffer a hypoglycaemic event. Ever since we got back from our holiday, I have continued to suffer from bowel problems which I may be stuck with permanently."
The regulations surrounding package holidays state that the tour operator is responsible for the proper performance of the holiday contract, regardless of whether the services that make up the holiday are supplied by the tour operator, its suppliers or other subcontractors.
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