Sunderland families share in £1.7million ‘holiday hell’ payout

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TWO Sunderland families are among hundreds of holidaymakers sharing a £1.7million payout after their summer holiday was ruined by illness at a notorious Turkish resort.

Specialist travel lawyers Irwin Mitchell secured a settlement from tour operator First Choice Holidays and Flights Limited for almost 600 people after 2009 holidays at the Holiday Village resort in Sarigerme, Turkey.

The hotel featured on BBC’s Watchdog consumer show in November 2009.

Deputy Senior Master Leslie, sitting in the High Court in London yesterday, approved a deal which will see more than 160 children and 435 adult guests receive up to £25,000 each. The level depends upon factors including the severity and duration of any illness and any financial losses and expenses incurred.

More than 400 holidaymakers suffered illness, with more than 100 people hit by infections including salmonella, cryptosporidium, campylobacter and E-coli.

More than 150 other holidaymakers were still affected by illness of family members, friends or other guests.

Problems at the hotel included:

l faeces in the swimming pools;

l food observed as being undercooked and left uncovered for long periods;

l dirty crockery and cutlery;

l public toilets which were frequently dirty and had no hot water:

l food which appeared to be reheated and reserved.

Irwin Mitchell’s Suki Chhokar said: “We are delighted for our clients that they have received a fair settlement after enduring such terrible times.

“Many of our clients suffered illnesses that continued after they returned home, and some have still not made a complete recovery more than four years after their original illness commenced.”