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UK Food Poisoning Claims

In the UK, food poisoning claims for compensation can be made when you or a loved one have eaten food in a restaurant or purchased goods from a shop or store which have caused you to become ill. Establishing that you have sustained an injury will rely on the results of tests conducted by your doctor on blood or stool samples, and it advisable to seek medical advice from a doctor as soon as you become ill as many strains of the bacteria which cause food poisoning can be treated more effectively with anti-biotics at an early stage of infection.
In order to support claims for food poisoning in the UK, it is advisable to report your illness to your local council´s environmental health department, who will investigate the source of your food poisoning claim and prosecute where necessary. Thereafter, speak with a solicitor to determine that you have UK food poisoning claims which are worth your while to pursue.

Couple Receive Compensation for an Illness on a P&O Cruise

February 25, 2017

A couple who were both taken ill during a holiday to celebrate their golden wedding anniversary have received compensation for an illness on a P&O cruise.

In January 2015, David and Doreen Dale from Whitstable in Kent were on the holiday of a lifetime to celebrate their fiftieth wedding anniversary. Having flown out to Australia to join the P&O cruise ship Arcadia, the couple were looking forward to enjoying a luxury vacation.

However, on the fourth day of their holiday, Doreen contracted a respiratory tract infection – a contagious illness that affects the lungs and airways. She was able to receive medical attention in Perth, but David was not so fortunate – contracting the disease later in the trip and being denied the opportunity to see a doctor at the on-board medical centre.

Both David and Doreen needed further medical attention when they returned to the UK and thereafter sought legal advice, discovering later that a total of eleven passengers on their vacation were claiming compensation for an illness on a P&O cruise – at least one of whom had contracted the food poisoning bug Campylobacter.

Describing the conditions on board the ship, Doreen said: “Both David and I were really concerned by certain things on board the ship, such as air conditioning units that were leaking and the bed linen not being changed daily. It was obvious that people on board the ship were not well as in the evenings you could hear lots of coughing in the theatre.”

Solicitors acting on behalf of the group of holidaymakers have now negotiated a settlement of compensation for an illness on a P&O cruise. Speaking to the Daily Express, Doreen said: I am relieved that our legal battle is finally over. Our cruise was a nightmare and we were so disappointed and upset that our fiftieth wedding anniversary was ruined.”

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Dozens Receive Compensation for Food Poisoning from Street Food

January 30, 2017

Dozens of visitors to Newcastle´s 2013 Street Spice Festival have received compensation for food poisoning from street food sold at the event.

At the end of February 2013, more than 12,000 people attended the Newcastle Street Spice Festival – a non-profit event organised by a local restaurant owner to raise funds for a brain tumour charity. Sadly, one of the sixteen stallholders was serving a chutney that had been prepared with raw curry leaves, causing over 400 visitors to suffer gastric illnesses.

Almost fifty of those most seriously affected by illnesses claimed compensation for food poisoning from street food, including twenty-nine that had suffered the symptoms of Salmonella poisoning. Other claimants suffered symptoms caused by E.coli and Shigella poisoning – some of whom still suffer the consequences of eating the contaminated chutney three years after attending the event.

All of the injury claims have now been resolved, with settlements of compensation for food poisoning from street food ranging from £1,200 to £29,000 depending on the severity and impact of the individual´s illnesses. In total, the settlements have cost the event´s insurers more than £400,000 – an amount they intend to recover from the vendor of the curry leaves.

Speaking after the last of the claims had been settled, festival organiser Bob Arora told his local newspaper: “We are pleased that the matter has now been settled. As a result of our reporting of the outbreak to the Environmental Health Office and cooperating with their investigation fully, the EHO has been able to suggest changes in legislation in the use of curry leaves in order to prevent any further instances of food poisoning.”

He added: “Prior to the outbreak, the use of curry leaves in cooking was an extremely grey area, with no indication that raw leaves would be harmful to anyone’s health. Although the curry leaves were washed thoroughly prior to use by the vendors it was unfortunate that the contamination remained. Hopefully now that it has been clarified.”

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Claim for Sickness on Holiday in Egypt Settled for £29,850

November 15, 2016

A family´s claim for sickness on holiday in Egypt, made after eleven of the thirteen family members suffered a stomach bug, has been settled for £29,850.

As a special treat for their family, Brian and Pamela Pilling from Chesham in Buckinghamshire paid more than £17,000 for a dream holiday at the five-star Sea Club Resort in Sharm el-Sheik, Egypt. The holiday was supposed to be an action-packed event that included trips to the beach, camel trekking and quad biking; but, from the fifth day of their stay at the resort, the family started to fall ill.

Brian (61), a retired labourer, was one of the first of the family members to develop the symptoms of a stomach bug.  “I thought at first it would just be a day thing, a little gastric upset but wow was I wrong” Brian told newspaper reporters. “In the end, we had to ask the hotel doctor to visit. He immediately put me on an intravenous rehydration with antibiotics and paracetamol.”

Brian was one of two family members that needed to be treated with intravenous rehydration and antibiotics, and in total eleven of the thirteen family members fell in on the trip – some experiencing symptoms that continued after the family returned home to the UK. Brian said: “The holiday was a great disappointment devastated by illness and I wish we had never gone.”

On their return to the UK, Brian and Pamela sought legal advice and made a claim for sickness on holiday in Egypt on behalf of the whole family. The claim against Thomson Holidays not only accounted for the pain and suffering of each family member, but also the amount of money the family spent on medical treatment in Egypt and the cost of the holiday.

Brian and Pamela alleged in their claim for sickness on holiday in Egypt that their illnesses were caused by the unhygienic conditions at the resort. Members of the family reported that food was not cooked properly and that sparrows were regularly seen around uncovered food. Thomson Holidays investigated the allegations, and the Pilling´s claim for sickness on holiday in Egypt has now been settled for £29,850.

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Solicitors Look into Claim for Food Poisoning on Holiday in Crete

September 20, 2016

A couple from Warrington in Cheshire have instructed solicitors to look into whether they have a justifiable claim for food poisoning on holiday in Crete.

In August 2015, William and Leanda Kidley were enjoying an all-inclusive holiday at the Katrin Suites Resort in Stalis on the island of Crete. Towards the end of the holiday, William started to feel ill with flu-like symptoms and nausea. On the day the couple returned home to Warrington in Cheshire, William started suffering from diarrhoea.

William attended his GP, who referred him to Warrington General Hospital for a series of tests. The tests revealed that William was suffering from campylobacter food poisoning and he was admitted into the hospital for treatment. William – a Transport Support Manager – was in hospital for a week and has still not regained full fitness.

The couple sought legal advice – believing that William´s illness was attributable to poor hygiene at the three-star resort – and have now instructed solicitors to look into whether they have a justifiable claim for food poisoning on holiday in Crete against the tour operator through whom the holiday was booked – Thomas Cook trading as Flexibletrips.

In their claim for food poisoning on holiday in Crete, the couple allege that flies were frequently around the chilled food unit and other food that was left uncovered throughout the day. They also claim that the food served to them was often undercooked. Thomas Cook has said the company will admit liability if a connection between the hotel food and William´s illness can be made.

Leander told her local newspaper: “The last thing we ever expected when we booked the holiday was for either of us to end up in hospital going through tests to find out exactly what was wrong. William missed time off work because of the problems he was having and it took him a long time for his stamina to improve and even now he has not made a full recovery.”

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Liability Admitted in Compensation Claims for Norovirus Sickness

June 30, 2016

Liability has been admitted in nearly three hundred compensation claims for norovirus sickness made by customers of the Exeter Arms in Middlemoor, Devon.

On Sunday March 29th 2015, a customer of the Exeter Arms Hotel and Restaurant in Middlemoor was sick in the restaurant foyer. Subsequent tests revealed the customer was suffering from norovirus sickness, and both the restaurant and the hotel were closed on Thursday April 2nd to undergo a deep clean.

Although the hotel remained closed, the restaurant opened for the busy Easter weekend. However, when scores more customers and staff fell ill after eating at the Toby-managed pub and carvery, the restaurant was forced to close once again on Tuesday April 7th. Subsequently 285 compensation claims for norovirus sickness were made against the chain´s owners – Mitchells and Butlers Retail ltd.

Now, more than a year after an investigation was launched by environmental health officials, Mitchells and Butlers Retail Ltd has acknowledged the company was in breach of duty by opening so soon after the deep clean and admitted liability for the injuries suffered by the customers who contracted the norovirus sickness.

The admission of liability will enable those affected by the outbreak to proceed with their compensation claims for norovirus sickness, with settlements based on the extent of the injury and the length of time it took them to recover. Although the symptoms of norovirus can clear up within a few days, more vulnerable people can suffer longer-term effects.

John Williams (68) from Bangor in North Wales was one customer who experienced the longer-term effects of norovirus sickness. He told the Exeter Express and Echo that his symptoms had lasted three weeks, ruined his holiday and stayed with him after his return to Wales. He said; “The Exeter Arms failed to inform me before travelling to the restaurant and hotel that there were problems with illness. My holiday was absolutely ruined and I want to know why more wasn’t done to control the outbreak.”

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Holidaymaker Makes Food Poisoning Claim against First Choice

April 25, 2016

A holidaymaker from Derbyshire, who contracted campylobacter while celebrating his birthday in Morocco, has made a food poisoning claim against First Choice.

In March 2016, James and Paula Gratton booked a week´s stay at the four-star Medina Gardens Hotel in Marrakech to celebrate James´ 51st birthday. Half-way through the holiday, James began to suffer with a high temperature, stomach pains and diarrhoea. His symptoms worsened as the holiday continued, and James was in considerable distress on the couple´s return flight to their home in Heanor in Derbyshire.

When he returned home, James called the NHS Direct service. He was advised to attend his local hospital, where he was examined and prescribed medicine to control his symptoms. However, James continued to feel unwell, and a stool sample provided to his GP subsequently tested positive for campylobacter – a form of food poisoning most commonly associated with badly prepared poultry.

Having missed a significant time from his job as a HGV driver, James sought legal advice and made a food poisoning claim against First Choice – the holiday company through which the Moroccan holiday had been booked. James´ solicitors have now instigated an investigation into the food preparation standards at the Medina Gardens Hotel to establish if James´ illness was due to negligence.

Speaking with his local newspaper – The Ripley and Heanor News – James said about his food poisoning claim against First Choice: “We booked this holiday as a way of celebrating my birthday and we’d been looking forward to it for a long time. But, in truth, it turned into a nightmare for both of us. “I had to take some extra time of work to recover from the symptoms and I still don’t feel completely right.

The holiday company declined to comment on the ongoing investigation into James´ food poisoning claim against First Choice, choosing instead to issue a brief statement that read: “First Choice is sorry to hear of Mr and Mrs Gratton´s experience.”

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Holidaymaker Settles Claim for Food Poisoning in a Turkish Resort

February 3, 2016

A 72-year-old holidaymaker has recovered a four figure settlement of compensation after making a claim for food poisoning in a Turkish resort.

In July 2012, Arthur Currie and his family from Prescot in Merseyside travelled to the Green Anatolia Resort in Turkey for what was supposed to be a relaxing summer holiday. Unfortunately, within days of arriving at the resort, Arthur was taken ill with vomiting, fever and lethargy.

His symptoms became so severe that an ambulance was called and Arthur spent a week in a Turkish hospital being treated for kidney problems caused by dehydration. Naturally the holiday was ruined for Arthur and the concerned members of his family.

On his return to Merseyside, Arthur sought legal advice. Having told his solicitor that the hygiene standards at the resort were not as good as he was expecting, Arthur made a claim for food poisoning in a Turkish resort against the tour operator through whom the family had booked the holiday – Thomas Cook.

In his claim for food poisoning in a Turkish resort, Arthur alleged that food was left uncovered on the buffet tables, and that fresh food was added on top of the existing food remaining in the serving dishes. Arthur also commented on the dirty state of the public toilets at the resort.

Thomas Cook denied liability for Arthur´s injuries, but eventually agreed to a four-figure settlement of his claim for food poisoning in a Turkish resort without an admission of liability. Speaking after his claim had been resolved, Arthur said:

“After a few days I started suffering terrible symptoms and it was absolutely terrifying when I was rushed to hospital. It was very difficult being stuck in a foreign hospital on what was supposed to be an enjoyable family trip. I’m just thankful I managed to recover and make my way home”.

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Court Awards Compensation for Campylobacter Food Poisoning

January 25, 2016

A Court of Session jury has awarded a woman £263,000 compensation for campylobacter food poisoning she suffered after eating at an Edinburgh restaurant.

Forty-four year old Tracey Rae from Falkirk ate at the Scotch Malt Whiskey Society´s Restaurant in 2009 with her husband and four friends. At the time, Tracey described her experience as a “nice meal”, but the following morning she awoke suffering from nausea, diarrhoea and stomach cramps.

Tracey´s condition deteriorated, and a doctor was called when she started passing blood. The doctor diagnosed Tracey with campylobacter food poisoning caused by eating undercooked chicken livers that had been served to her in a salad at the restaurant.

Despite taking her medication, Tracey continued to suffer pains in her stomach and bowel. Six months after eating the undercooked chicken livers, Tracey was diagnosed with post-infection irritable bowel syndrome. Tracey was told that she would have to stop drinking alcohol and coffee, and adopt a gluten-free and dairy-free diet.

Unable to return to work because of the extreme symptoms of her irritable bowel syndrome, Tracey sought legal advice and claimed compensation for campylobacter food poisoning against James Freeman who was in charge of the catering at the restaurant. Freeman – trading as Saffron private Catering – admitted liability for Tracey´s condition, but his insurance company failed to agree to an appropriate settlement of her claim.

Consequently, Tracey´s claim case proceeded to the Court of Session in Edinburgh, where it was heard by a jury for the assessment of damages. At the hearing the jury was told that Tracey will suffer from irritable bowel syndrome for the rest of her life due to eating the undercooked chicken livers and that all she could do was eat carefully to try and minimise the symptoms.

The jury awarded Tracey £263,534 compensation for campylobacter food poisoning. The award included £50,000 for her pain and suffering, £175,000 for her future loss of earnings and £30,000 for the additional cost of following a gluten-free and dairy-free diet.

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Family Recover Compensation for Food Poisoning while on Holiday

September 25, 2015

A family of four from Castleford in West Yorkshire has recovered compensation for food poisoning while on holiday in the Turkish resort of Bodrum.

In August 2012, Mark and Debra Pryor took their two children on what was supposed to be an exciting two-week holiday at the Hotel Esra in the Turkish resort of Bodrum. Unfortunately both Mark and Debra suffered symptoms of a severe gastric illness during the first week of their holiday, meaning that many of the excursions that had been planned for the second week had to be cancelled.

Instead of enjoying some of the excellent sites within easy reach of the Bodrum peninsula, Mark and Debra spent much of the second week of their holiday visiting the hotel´s medical centre, where they were placed on intravenous drips because of dehydration. Mark´s symptoms persisted after the family returned home to Castleford, and he did not make a full recovery until the end of September.

After seeking legal advice, Mark and Debra claimed compensation for food poisoning while on holiday from the travel agent through whom the holiday had been booked – Thomas Cook. The couple alleged in their claim that food had been left uncovered throughout the day, that old food was reheated and served as fresh the following day, and that the crockery and cutlery appeared to be washed without the use of detergent.

Thomas Cook disputed the claim for compensation for food poisoning while on holiday, but after the company was threatened with court action, a four-figure settlement of the claim was negotiated without an admission of liability. Speaking after the settlement of compensation for food poisoning while on holiday had been agreed, Debra said:

“Holidays are supposed to be relaxing and enjoyable, but the time we spent at this hotel was absolutely awful. Both Mark and I suffered significant symptoms and the children were extremely frightened to see both of us on IV drips in a foreign country”.

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Woman Recovers Compensation for an Illness on a Spanish Holiday

August 21, 2015

A woman from the West Midlands has recovered a five-figure settlement of compensation for an illness on a Spanish holiday from the holiday firm TUI.

In January 2011, Michael and Margaret Bateman from Oldbury in the West Midlands travelled to Gran Canaria for a four-week holiday in the four-star Hotel Club Riu. Having stayed at the resort previously, the retired couple were looking forward to a relaxing holiday, Margaret (67) fell ill with the symptoms of food poisoning.

Margaret was confined to her hotel room for much of the holiday where she was cared for by her husband. On the couple´s return to the UK, Margaret attended her GP who diagnosed her with campylobacter – usually caused by meat not being prepared properly or not being refrigerated once it has been cooked.

Margaret´s symptoms continued and she was confined to her home for several months. After she had recovered, Margaret sought legal advice and claimed compensation for an illness on a Spanish holiday against the travel company through whom the holiday had been booked – TUI UK Ltd – alleging that she had seen dirty cutlery in the restaurant and food being served from the previous day.

TUI UK Ltd initially denied its liability for Margaret´s illness – even though her claim was supported by reports from a microbiologist and a health and hygiene officer – but eventually conceded that Margaret´s claim for compensation for an illness on a Spanish holiday was justified and settled the claim for an undisclosed five-figure amount.

Speaking after her claim had been resolved, Margaret said: “Psychologically my illness has tremendously affected my life and whilst I have been away on holidays since, I am very conscious of falling ill again. No amount of money can make up for the impact that this illness has had on my life, but now that I know TUI have paid for the failings at the resort, I can begin to move forward.”

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Woman Settles Claim for a Holiday Illness in Egypt

August 3, 2015

A woman who was diagnosed with post-infective irritable bowel syndrome after a 2010 Christmas break has settled her claim for a holiday illness in Egypt.

In December 2010, Claire Maidment (27) from Washington, Tyne and Wear, and her partner Nathan Hawkins (27) travelled to the Hauza Beach Resort on the north end of the Sharm-el-Sheik coastline, for a relaxing break over Christmas.

Within days of arriving, both Clare and Nathan displayed symptoms of a gastric illness – including diarrhoea, sickness and stomach pains. Nathan´s symptoms were relatively mild, but Clare had to visit the resort´s doctor on three separate occasions and was put on an IV drip to rehydrate her.

On the couple´s return from Egypt, Clare´s symptoms continued and she was diagnosed with post-infective irritable bowel syndrome. The couple then sought legal advice and made a claim for a holiday illness in Egypt against the tour operator through who the holiday was booked – Freedom Travel Group.

In the claim for a holiday illness in Egypt, it was alleged that the standards of hygiene were lower than the couple had expected. The couple claimed that food was lukewarm and left uncovered for hours and that the resort´s public toilet facilities were not thoroughly cleaned.

The Freedom Travel Group denied responsibility for Clare´s holiday illness and a court date was set for a hearing to determine liability and a suitable level of compensation. However, three weeks prior to the hearing, the tour operator made an offer to settle Clare´s claim for a holiday illness in Egypt and, on the advice of her solicitor, the offer was accepted.

Speaking after her claim for a holiday illness in Egypt had been resolved, Clare told her local newspaper: “I’ve had an absolutely horrible time with my symptoms, both while I was in Egypt and since I’ve come back home. Some of the medical tests I’ve been through have been awful and my diagnosis just added insult to injury. Now a settlement has been secured I will finally be able to move on from what I went through and the impact it has had on my day-to-day life.”

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Flicks: £340,000 Paid in Compensation for E.coli Poisoning

May 1, 2015

According to evidence given at Belfast Crown Court, more than £340,000 compensation for E.coli poisoning has been paid out to customers who ate contaminated food at Flicks Restaurant.

Belfast Crown Court was hearing a sentencing case against Michael McAdam – the owner of Moviehouse Cinema Limited, which is the parent company of the former Flicks Restaurant in the Yorkgate complex in North Belfast.

Flicks was closed down two days after an outbreak of E.coli food poisoning was identified as originating from the restaurant in October 2012. Two customers became seriously ill after eating contaminated food at the restaurant, forty-four others attended hospital with their symptoms and sixteen of those were admitted.

In total, 141 cases of E.oli poisoning were confirmed, with a further 159 customers reporting symptoms. The barrister representing McAdam told the court that eighty claims for compensation for E.coli poisoning had been settled at a cost of £340,000, and that there were “twenty to thirty claims” still outstanding.

Earlier this month, McAdam pleaded guilty to eleven breaches of food hygiene after inspectors from Belfast´s Public Health Agency found that staff toilets were inadequate and that there were no facilities for hand washing. The rapid spread of the E.coli outbreak was also attributed to a food handler who had “a severe episode of diarrhoea whilst at work in the restaurant”.

After hearing a council spokesperson testify it was “extremely fortunate that no lives were lost”, the judge fined McAdam £110,000, saying that the restaurant had shown a blatant disregard for food safety standards and therefore the safety of its customers. He added that E.coli has the potential of causing death or serious injury to vulnerable customers such as those with weak immune systems, pregnant women and children.

Settlements of compensation for E.coli poisoning have ranged between £300 and £12,000. Once the outstanding claims have been resolved, the total amount of compensation for E.coli poisoning at Flicks could exceed £½ million.

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Family Resolves Holiday Illness Claim for Compensation

February 25, 2015

A family of four, who all suffered with a violent stomach bug while on holiday in Mexico, has resolved its holiday illness claim for compensation against Thomas Cook.

In May 2013, Roy and Diane Blakeway from Widnes in Cheshire travelled to Mexico as part of a twenty-four strong wedding party which included their two sons Robert (30) and Ben (20).  The holiday at the Gran Caribe Real Resort and Spa in Cancun did not get off to the best of starts when Diane slipped and fell on her way into the restaurant, causing soft tissue injuries and two slipped discs.

However, just a few days before the wedding of Roy and Diane´s great-niece was to take place, all four of the Blakeway family contracted a violent stomach bug and suffered from nausea, diarrhoea and stomach cramps. The family noticed that the restaurant had been closed and hotel staff were disinfecting the corridors and rooms. Allegedly one guest had to have her room fumigated.

The Blakeway family were able to attend the wedding ceremony, but unable to partake in any of the celebrations afterwards. The bug lasted for ten days after they returned home from Mexico – at which point Roy sought legal advice and made a holiday illness claim for compensation against Thomas Cook – the travel company through which the holiday had been booked.

Thomas Cook initially contested the holiday illness claim for compensation but after court proceedings were issued the holiday company backed down and agreed to an out-of-court settlement. The details of the settlement are that each member of the family will receive £1,450, with Diane receiving a further £6,500 for her slip and fall accident.

A spokesman for the holiday company said: “Thomas Cook is very sorry that the Blakeway family fell ill and Mrs Blakeway was injured while on holiday. Thomas Cook makes strenuous efforts to ensure the quality and safety of the holidays it sells having dedicated teams who undertake audit programmes and work with hotels in the event that issues are identified”.

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Groups Claim Compensation for Food Poisoning at Butlins

June 24, 2014

Two groups of holidaymakers, who contracted the norovirus stomach bug at a holiday camp in West Sussex, have started a claim for compensation for food poisoning at Butlins.

Members of the Ealing Handicapped Irish Dancers and Mencap Hillingdon North were among 219 visitors to the Butlins Holiday Camp in Bognor Regis, West Sussex, between May and July 2011 who were subsequently diagnosed with the norovirus stomach bug – a highly contagious illness which manifests in vomiting and diarrhoea.

The two parties, and many of the other individuals who are pursuing compensation for food poisoning at Butlins, claim that they were served undercooked food, had seen flies on and around uncovered food, and pigeons on tables which were later used to serve food on. Also alleged in their action is that the resort the swimming pool was cloudy “with slime around the edges” and that raw sewerage could be smelled in several areas of the resort.

A spokesperson for the groups confirmed that papers had been filed with Birmingham County Court after liability for the food poisoning injuries was denied by Butlins´ parent company – Bourne Leisure. In a statement, the spokesperson said that the groups were claiming compensation for food poisoning at Butlins as they had been left with no other option but to seek justice for their ruined holidays.

Butlins´ responded by announcing the company would “robustly defend the speculative action”. The company issued a statement in which it claimed to operate the resorts to the highest health and safety standards and liaise closely with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to prioritise the safety of guests.

No date has yet been set for a hearing by the Birmingham County Court.

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Guests Compensated for Food Poisoning at Wedding Reception

October 18, 2013

A newly-wed bride and groom – and twenty-eight of their guests – have been compensated for food poisoning at their wedding reception after the venue admitted two charges of poor food hygiene practise.

Alex and Nicola Hamill from Luton in Bedfordshire were married at the Letchworth Hall Hotel in Hertfordshire in September 2011 and, together with 118 of their guests, sat down after the ceremony to enjoy a carefully planned wedding reception.

However, soon after they left the reception for their honeymoon in Las Vegas, Alex (33) was taken ill on the plane with nausea and ­diarrhoea. Nicola (31) was taken ill two days later at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas, and the couple spent the first five days of their honeymoon crippled with what hospital tests later revealed to be campylobacter bacteria food poisoning.

On their return to the UK, Alex and Nicola discovered that twenty-eight of their guests had also suffered from food poisoning after the wedding reception, and the source of the infection was identified as the chicken liver pate which had been served as a starter at the reception, and which Nicola had complained about at the time.

Hertfordshire environmental health officers investigated the significant number of food poisoning cases and discovered that the chef at Letchworth Hall Hotel had cooked the chicken livers for the pate at 60ºC – breaching Food Standards Agency guidance which recommends heating the livers to 75ºC to prevent the possibility of campylobacter bacteria food poisoning.

The Letchworth Hall Hotel was prosecuted by Hertfordshire County Council and was fined £12,000 by magistrates after pleading guilty to two charges of poor food hygiene practise.

The couple and their affected guests each made a claim for food poisoning at the wedding reception to recover compensation for the injuries they received and loss of earnings. Alex and Nicola received £31,190 which also included the cost of their ruined honeymoon, while other settlements of food poisoning injury compensation for their guests ranged between £875 and £16,095.

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Changes in Procedures for Personal Injury Claims Introduced

August 6, 2013

Further changes to the procedures for personal injury claims were introduced on 1st August which should result in the quicker settlement of lower value claims when liability is not in dispute.

The Legal Aid, Sentencing & Punishment of Offenders Act (LASPO) 2012 introduced a number of changes to the procedures for personal injury claims in April 2013 – most significantly the way in which “No Win, No Fee” injury claims are handled.

Since April, claimants have been personally liable for solicitor´s “Success Fees” and “After the Event” insurance premiums but have received an uplift in the value of General Damages awarded in personal injury compensation settlements to account for this.

On August 1st, the Civil Procedure Rules (CPRs) governing court action in England and Wales were also amended to assist in reducing the time it takes to settle personal injury claims with a value of up to £25,000 when a single party is responsible for an injury occurring and liability is admitted by that party.

The new procedures for personal injury claims in England and Wales will see negligent parties and their insurance companies allowed just one day (from 21 days) from receiving a “Letter of Claim” to acknowledge its receipt, and thirty days (from 90 days*) to inform a solicitor whether or not liability is accepted or the claim is going to be contested.

Any negligent party or insurance company who fails to adhere to these guidelines will not be able to take advantage of the Ministry of Justice Claims Portal and will face higher costs in defending the claim.

Exceptions to the Procedures for Personal Injury Claims

These measures should significant reduce how long it takes to resolve a claim for personal injury compensation where  the total value of the claim is more than £1,000 and less than £25,000; however there are a number of exceptions to the new procedures for personal injury claims:-

  • Public liability claims against an individual – for example if you have been injured in an accident in a neighbour´s home due to their negligence.
  • Any public liability claim in which you or a member of your family has contracted a disease – for example if you suffer food poisoning after eating in a restaurant
  • Any claim in which either the defendant or the claimant is bankrupt or has died, or where a claim is made against more than one party
  • Where an injury is sustained in an accident outside of England or Wales – for example while on holiday
  • Claims in which the defendant is uninsured or untraceable – for example hit and run accidents
  • Any claims for medical negligence or clinical malpractice
  • Mesothelioma claims for compensation

The changes to the Civil Procedure Rules do not affect the Statute of Limitations relating to how long you have to make a claim for personal injury compensation after the date of knowledge that an injury has been sustained, and only apply to injuries diagnosed on or after 1st August 2013.

If you have any questions regarding how the changes in procedures for personal injury claims may affect you, it is recommended that you speak with a personal injury claims solicitor at the first possible opportunity.

 (*) Employers and insurance companies providing Employer Liability Insurance will have forty days to conduct an investigation into your work injury claim and advise your solicitor whether or not liability is accepted.

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Watermelon Salmonella Claims One – Many Others Ill

February 3, 2012

A health warning has been issued by the Health Protection Agency (HPA) following the discovery of watermelon salmonella. Claims that the death of one UK resident and scores of food poisoning cases across Europe are attributable to the presence of salmonella in pre-wrapped Watermelons are being investigated by the Food Standards Agency and other international food safety authorities.

Thirty cases of food poisoning after eating watermelons have been reported in England and Wales, with many more across Scotland, Ireland and Germany. The cause of the watermelon salmonella is believed to be a lack of hygiene during the preparation stages, with the watermelons washed in dirty water or being sliced with a knife that had not been cleaned before use.

The strain of salmonella found in the sliced and pre-packed watermelons is known as Salmonella Newport, and many of the victims who have fallen ill with vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain and fever had eaten a slice of pre-packed watermelon in the three days before they fell ill. It has not yet been confirmed where the infected watermelons originated from, but watermelon salmonella claims have been made that the produce was imported from Brazil in November 2011.

Supermarkets including Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Waitrose and the Co-op have been quick to issue press statements that their watermelons are free from the salmonella, however the most likely source of the infected watermelons is from snack kiosks and in cafes or restaurants where pre-packed watermelons are convenient to store and easy to serve.

Claims for watermelon salmonella compensation are anticipated from those affected by the bug, and will be made against the outlet from which they purchased the infected goods. One of the key factors that will determine whether victims of food poisoning are eligible for watermelon salmonella compensation will be the result of a sample test given to a doctor or their GP.

As the watermelon salmonella has already claimed the life of one victim, people experiencing the early signs of food poisoning are advised to see their doctor at the earliest possible opportunity and thereafter seek compensation claims advice from a personal injury solicitor.

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138 Tourists to be Compensated for “Holiday From Hell”

March 2, 2011

138 British holidaymakers who fell ill while staying at the 4 star Riu Miramar hotel in Obzor, Bulgaria, in July 2006 are to receive compensation from Thomson’ s Holidays after a four-year battle for justice.

The claim against the holiday giant had been made after guests were made to wade through mud and silt to get to the hotel reception, faced poor food hygiene and often suffered a lack of fresh water and electricity due to recent flooding.

The guests who became ill blamed their condition on the appalling standards at the hotel – with many suffering typical symptoms of food poisoning such as stomach cramps, sickness and diarrhoea. Complaints to the hotel management and Thomson’s representatives were ignored.

Thomson’s parent company, TUI UK Ltd, admitted liability just as a two-week trial was scheduled to start at Birmingham County Court and, although no amounts of individual compensation are yet to be agreed, Judge David Worster passed an interim order for 300,000 pounds to be paid into court.

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Marks and Spencers Compensate Prawn Slip Broken Hip

September 3, 2010

An elderly customer has been awarded 7,500 pounds in compensation after breaking her hip when slipping on a prawn cocktail in her local Marks and Spencers store.

Janet Morritt, 71, from Perth, Scotland, was grocery shopping at the Marks and Spencer store in High Street, Perth, when she slipped on a greasy mixture of water and a prawn cocktail which had leaked from a nearby chilled food cabinet.

Janet crashed to the ground, breaking her hip and requiring the insertion of a plate and screws during the resulting eight days spent in hospital. She now has to walk with the aid of a stick and requires a wheelchair if making long journeys.

The MacMillan Cancer volunteer sought legal advice and sued Marks and Spencers for “fault and negligence”, claiming that it was their duty to take reasonable care for the safety of their customers and not expose them to unnecessary risk of injury.

Marks and Spencers disputed the claim, stating that Janet had a duty to watch where she placed her feet, however Perth Sheriff Court ruled out the counterclaim of contributory negligence and found against the chain store – awarding Janet 7,500 pounds compensation.

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