£2,000 compensation for our client after sickness strikes during Cape Verde break
We secured compensation of £2,000 for Claire after a bout of sickness spoiled her holiday in Cape Verde.
In October 2017, Claire, along with her husband, flew out to the Hotel RIU Karamboa on the island of Boa Vista, noted for its crystal clear waters and vast stretches of golden sand.
“We specifically chose Cape Verde because our friends had said it was a lovely place,” Claire says.
Unfortunately, the couple’s much-anticipated all-inclusive break didn’t turn out to be the experience they’d envisaged. Her holiday ended with her having no option but to make a food poisoning claim for compensation with the help of Holiday Claims Bureau.
“I ate a range of food from the buffet prior to the onset of my illness including bread, pasta, chicken, noodles, vegetables and salad. I tried to be careful with what I ate because I had heard guests in the hotel were ill. I had also read on TripAdvisor that there was something going around.”
Problems with food temperatures and cleanliness
While taking advantage of the food provided, Claire and her husband began to notice some things that weren’t quite right.
“I did notice that some of the food was lukewarm as it was being kept under heat lamps that weren’t very hot,” she says. “And I saw staff topping up uncovered serving trays of food without removing the food from the bottom. This meant that the food at the bottom of the bowl was continuously being stirred in with the new food and could have been there for a number of hours”
Sometimes, she had to clean the dining table she sat at herself as food debris left from the previous occupants had not been attended to by restaurant staff.
Painful illness strikes
Towards the end of the holiday, Claire began to feel unwell. She began to experience frequent episodes of severe diarrhoea. Her illness progressed and left her with painful stomach cramps and feeling faint and feverish.
“I was stuck in my room for the rest of the holiday. My husband called reception to ask for a Doctor. At this stage, I wasn’t well enough to get out of bed. After 5 or 6 requests, a Doctor finally came to the room.”
“He examined my stomach and asked me about my symptoms; he then told me I had an infection in my stomach which many others in the hotel had.
The doctor prescribed 3 different types of medication, including antibiotics. Claire paid around 130 Euros in medical costs. Her husband looked into a flight home early, but it wasn’t possible. Claire says that the last part of the holiday and flight home was a real ordeal for both of them.
“I never ate at the hotel again and I couldn’t eat for days after I got home. I didn’t want to risk the food making my symptoms worse. Even after a few days of taking the medication, my condition didn’t seem to be improving. My husband didn’t fall ill but this affected the enjoyment of his holiday as he stayed in the room with me.”
Symptoms continue after getting home
After getting home, Calire went to see her GP. Although the symptoms had eased by this stage, the GP asked her to provide a stool sample in case any infection was still in her system. The results came back clear, but it was a month before she returned to her pre-holiday health.
She also made a complaint to her tour operator on her return to the UK, as well as getting in touch with us to formally pursue her claim.
“I was very much looking forward to this holiday and normally when you return, you feel refreshed. I did not expect to return feeling worse than when I went and having suffered illness which ruined the enjoyment of my holiday.
Holiday Claims Bureau get to work
Our solicitors were representing other clients who had fallen ill at this hotel and TripAdvisor reviews had been posted from around the same time as Claire’s visit that claimed others had fallen ill with similar symptoms at the hotel.
The Tour Operator denied liability, though it had not provided the supporting documents we had requested in the Tour Operator. When we finally received the health & safety audit report closest to Claire’s stay from the hotel, it was noted that there were some issues with hygiene at the serving counter and bar.
We continued to press the Tour Operator for these documents and other disclosure they hadn’t provided, including temperature checks. It seemed that we would have to issue legal proceedings.
However, in an effort to avoid the need for court action, we made an offer of £2,000 in damages in settlement of the matter as reasonable compensation for Claire’s pain and suffering, expenses and the spoiled portion of the holiday so as to avoid the need for court action. This was accepted by the Defendant.
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