Holidaymaker wins share of £1.9million hotel from hell payout

Steph Hughes
Steph Hughes
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A DURHAM holidaymaker has won part of a multi-million payout after a nightmare trip.

Tour operator First Choice became the final holiday giant to settle cases for more than 400 of its customers who fell ill during a stay at the four-star Bahia Principe resort in San Juan in the Dominican Republic in 2007.

It follows settlements of 500 holidaymakers who had booked with Thomas Cook & My Travel for a total of over £3.5m four years ago.

First Choice agreed to settle the cases of 409 of its customers for £1.9m, which includes the settlement of claims for 60 children, in the High Court in London on Wednesday.

The holidaymakers were devastated when their trips were ruined by outbreaks of serious illnesses, including salmonella, which saw guests needing hospital treatment.

Among those affected was Stephanie Hughes, 30, from Chester-le-Street.

Clive Garner, a partner and head of the international travel law team at Irwin Mitchell, said: “We are delighted for our clients that they have now received a fair settlement from the tour operators after enduring such terrible times at the Bahia Principe.

“The long history of guests suffering illness at this hotel makes grim reading. There have been problems at the hotel on and off for 10 years in the lead up to the 2007 outbreak, and we are still receiving complaints from guests five years after that dreadful outbreak.

“We remain very concerned that hotels and tour operators have not learned vital lessons, and that all too often holidaymakers suffer illness, sometimes with life-changing consequences due to inadequate health and hygiene standards.

“We want the public to be safe while on holiday, and we urge the travel industry to clean up its act.”

The issues were so bad that one plane flying UK passengers back from the country was quarantined at Gatwick while another at the same airport and one landing at Manchester was boarded by doctors as guests needed treatment on the runway before they could disembark.