A FAMILY from Linthwaite have finally received compensation – four years after “a holiday in hell”.
The couple, their daughter and two grandchildren fell ill to a sickness bug while staying at a Spanish resort.
But they and dozens of other holidaymakers have had to battle through a legal minefield to finally win compensation.
The group of 69 British holidaymakers, whose trips to Spain during 2007 and 2008 were ruined as many suffered severe gastric illness, have won their battle for justice after travel law experts Irwin Mitchell secured a settlement of over £200,000 on their behalf.
Tour operator TUI UK Limited and The Globespan Group PLC, now in administration, agreed to settle the cases just a fortnight before a 10-day trial of the cases was due to start at Birmingham County Court, ending the holidaymakers fight for justice.
The tourists all stayed at the Beach Club Hotel, Torremolinos, between September 2007 and August 2008, where 60 out of the 69 taking action suffered from symptoms such as diarrhoea, vomiting and stomach cramps.
The bug left some guests hospitalised and others needing assistance from the hotel doctor. Eight of the holidaymakers are still suffering from conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome to this day.
The Linthwaite couple, who do not want to be named, stayed at the hotel with their daughter, now 37, and their grandchildren now aged 11 and seven.
The grandmother said: “I had seen reports on the internet about the sickness bug some weeks before we were due to go and rang the holiday company many times, asking them to switch us to another place.
“They simply refused to do that.
“We flew out to Spain and within a couple of days, my husband fell ill. Then it was my daughter, my grandson and finally me.
“Each of us had to spend some days in our rooms and the holiday was ruined.
“People said it was because of dirt and bugs such as cockroaches, but I never saw anything really bad. I believe it was more likely an airborne virus that we had.
“If they had moved us before we flew out, then none of this would have happened.”
One family complained of a dead cockroach in their pasta and said flies were buzzing around the food, while bird droppings were seen on the floor in the restaurant.
Holidaymakers also complained about the outside pool area being dirty and littered with cigarette butts with drains that smelt awful, while the indoor pool was described as ‘filthy with murky water’.
Irwin Mitchell had previously secured a settlement of more than £2.5m from Thomson and several other tour operators on behalf of 1,000 British holidaymakers who stayed at the same Beach Club hotel in Torremolinos between 2000 and 2002 – which at the time was a record settlement for the largest group litigation by English holidaymakers.
Gurpinder Chana, a specialist travel lawyer, said: “Unfortunately a large number of people endured conditions below what they expected and their holidays were ruined by the severe gastric illness they suffered.”