Essex: Holidaymakers claim damages after becoming ill at resort

HOLIDAYMAKERS from Essex have launched a �300,000 legal battle for compensation after being struck down with stomach illnesses in an Egyptian resort.

A group of 127 people, many of whom are from this county, are seeking damages after taking package holidays at the all-inclusive Movenpick Resort Hotel in Taba between March and July 2008.

Among the claimants is Victoria Simpson, 30, of Old Vicarage Road, Harwich, who visited the resort with her husband Clark in March 2008.

“I became ill on the plane home and suffered serious vomiting and diarrhoea for about two weeks,” she said. “I couldn’t hold anything down and I lost about two stone.

“The doctor thought I must have picked up a virus on holiday and I didn’t feel completely better until about July.

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“It was only when my mother-in-law saw an article in the paper that I realised a lot of other people who had stayed at the resort had also become ill, so I contacted the solicitors.”

A writ issued at London’s High Court and just made publicly available says that some developed salmonella while others contracted gastro-intestinal illnesses, including vomiting and diarrhoea.

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Solicitor Clare Campbell of Pannone LLP, representing the claimants, said: “We are pursuing claims for 127 clients against a number of tour operators including First Choice and Peltours.

“Our clients all stayed at the Moevenpick Resort Hotel at some time during a seven month period in 2008 and were ill for periods ranging from a couple of weeks up to as long as three months.

“Some proved positive for salmonella and in one exceptional case we have a client who has been diagnosed with the highly debilitating Crohns disease, which will potentially affect her for the rest of her life.

“We hope to resolve these claims with the tour operators but unless we can agree a settlement for all these clients, their cases will proceed to trial at a date to be set by the courts.”

According to the High Court writ, an audit of the hotel in April 2008 highlighted a series of hygiene issues including a lack of sneeze guards for the cold buffet and unclean fridges and freezers.

The claimants argue the holiday companies failed to warn them that other guests had come down with gastro-intestinal illnesses before they took their holidays, and exposed them to a reasonably foreseeable and easily avoided risk of illness.

Their legal team claims the holiday companies have accepted liability for the negligence of their suppliers through their booking conditions. The group accuses the companies of negligence and breach of contract.

The group is suing Allbury Travel Group, trading as Libra Holidays, in administration, as well as Peltours, First Choice Holidays and Flights, Longwood holidays,, Future travel trading as Travel Now, and Movenpick Resort.

The travel companies were contacted on Friday for a comment and none had done so at the time of going to press.

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