HUDDERSFIELD tourists have finally won compensation – after a four-year battle over a “holiday from hell”.
Nearly 300 holidaymakers left devastated after their four-star Bulgarian holidays were ruined by illness have won their battle for justice.
They include at least two Huddersfield families.
One tourist was Richard Malpass, of New Road, Kirkheaton. He, his girlfriend Amanda Kinder and her sons Ross and Ryan had their £5,000 holiday ruined when they were struck down by illness while staying at the hotel.
Mr Malpass, 42, described the holiday at the Royal Park Hotel two years ago as a ‘nightmare.’
“The food was cold and undercooked and my girlfriend was throwing up most of the first night.
“The staff were unhelpful. I never saw the swimming pool area cleaned during the fortnight we were there and the boys’ room smelled musty.
“I’d been to Bulgaria several times before, but have never experienced anything like it before”.
Another family of four from Huddersfield have also won a payout.
Other complaints from the holidaymakers included the hotel complex smelling of sewage and that there was wiring coming out of the walls.
The legal victory, secured by travel law experts at Irwin Mitchell, saw the holidaymakers awarded over £½m between them from tour operator First Choice, after many of them were hit by serious gastric illnesses during their stay at the Royal Park Hotel in Bulgaria in 2008.
Many of them continue to suffer from symptoms now, over four years after they first became ill.
In addition, the law firm has already settled nearly 100 previous cases from 2004, 2005 and 2007 which saw hotel guests receive nearly £200,000 and is now also acting for more than 20 additional guests who suffered illness at the same hotel in 2010 after travelling there with other tour operators.
Some holidaymakers had to seek medical treatment on return to the UK and just over thirty needed hospital attention due to the severity of their symptoms.
First Choice denied responsibility for the guests’ sickness forcing Irwin Mitchell to issue proceedings at court, before the tour operator finally agreed to pay over £500,000 shortly before a trial was due to be listed.
Amandeep Dhillon, a travel law specialist at Irwin Mitchell, said: “The Royal Park Hotel is currently advertised as a four-star establishment.
“Yet over several years, many holidaymakers have suffered gastric illnesses while staying there which is very concerning. Some continue to suffer from symptoms which have a serious and debilitating effect upon their daily lives.
“We hope that lessons have now been learned once and for all and that there will not be a repeat of the problems that we have seen all too frequently in the past at the Royal Park”.