Posted on July 31, 2019 10:32 am

£2,000 settlement for client who contracted Shigella dysentery in Mexico

Beverley’s holiday in August 2018 with her husband at the all-inclusive Ocean Coral Turquesa H10 hotel in Cancun, Mexico was supposed to be two weeks of fun and adventure. However, things turned out rather differently.

Around 10 days into her holiday, Beverley started to suffer with distressing stomach cramps and diarrhoea. She sought advice from her tour representative at the hotel, who said that she simply had ‘delhi belly’ and that the Imodium she had taken from home would not assist. She purchased antacid medication which provided some relief, but continued to experience uncomfortable symptoms.

What was wrong at the hotel?

Beverley and her husband tended to eat different foods from the all-inclusive restaurants. They found that sometimes the food at the buffet restaurant was barely warm, even at breakfast, shortly after the buffet opened. The only time that she ate in an á la carte restaurant, the food was cold. She noticed that dishes would be ‘recycled’ and appear again in a different guise; they were sometimes left uncovered for long periods.

“The staff in the buffet restaurant did not wear gloves or hair nets and there would be cats wandering around. Worryingly, there was no hand gel for guests to use. It just wasn’t up to scratch for what was supposed to be a 5-star hotel.”

The last week of Beverley’s holiday was ruined by the illness.

“I had to stay close to my room for the rest of the holiday. I would have liked to have booked some more excursions but I just felt too unwell.”

The disappointment was compounded by the fact that her room was exceedingly damp, and she had to empty the dehumidifier in it at least four times a day. She did complain about this, but her complaints were ignored, and no room change was offered.

Symptoms continue on return to UK

Beverley continued to suffer from stomach cramps and diarrhoea. Upon her return home, she sought treatment from her doctor. She provided a stool sample which tested positive for the presence of Shigella.  She was prescribed antibiotics and did not feel that she had fully recovered until the middle of October.

Beverley was aware of other guests who were also unwell. She got in touch with us for legal advice via our Holiday Claims Bureau live chat facility not long after her return home.

Our solicitor took on the matter and put together the formal Letter of Claim, setting out the chronology of events and legal basis for the Claim, as well as requesting the relevant documents from the hotel.

Parties negotiate settlement

The Tour Operator’s representatives were due to provide their decision on whether liability was admitted or denied in May 2019. Both sides agreed a short extension while GP records confirming the presence of Shigella were disclosed, and while the Tour Operator had further discussions with the hotelier.

Shortly afterwards, the Tour Operator made an offer of £2,000 to settle the claim without the need for further litigation. After we discussed the potential value of the claim with Beverley (taking into account typical awards on similar cases and the additional expenses that she had incurred), the offer was accepted.

“I’m really happy with the service and advice Holiday Claims Bureau provided.  I was concerned that as I was claiming against a large firm like TUI, they’d simply dismiss my concerns and there would be nothing I could do about it.  I was very pleased with the outcome.” – Beverley