A holidaymaker has won just under £3,000 in compensation from a travel company after contracting E. coli on one of their holidays.
Carl Pallant, 29, from Horsham, was staying with his girlfriend at Vincci Taj Sultan hotel in Tunisia when he caught the disease last summer. He contacted Your Holiday Claims direct who helped him win £2,935 in damages from travel operator Thomas Cook, with whom Mr Pallant had booked the holiday.
In a statement, the solicitors said: “Mr Pallant had booked the Tunisian getaway through the tour operator Thomas Cook.
“He reported that breakdowns in hygiene standards were rife within the hotel’s restaurants.
“Food was often served undercooked and birds were seen flying around open buffet restaurants where food was uncovered.
“Due to the severity of the symptoms suffered, Mr Pallant was admitted to hospital in Crawley for treatment.
“After days of tests it was confirmed that he had contracted E. coli during his stay at the Vincci Taj Sultan.”
Mr Pallant said: “The conditions in the restaurant were really poor. Birds were flying in and around the restaurant and I noticed bird faeces on table cloths and birds landing on tables and chairs.”
It wasn’t until he had flown home that he started noticing that something was not right.
“I went back to work for a week,” he told the County Times. “It takes about two weeks for it to take effect.
“By the second week I was really ill. It was awful, it was really awful. I have never been so ill in my life.”
Mr Pallant was suffering from stomach cramps and went to Crawley hospital for tests. From there he was sent to East Surrey where doctors were able to confirm that he had contracted the disease.
“The doctors weren’t sure what was wrong with me,” he said. “I had various tests over four days. Once I got home it was confirmed that I had E. coli.”
A spokesperson from Thomas Cook said: “Thomas Cook is sorry that Mr Pallant fell ill while on holiday in Vincci Taj Sultan, Tunisia in June 2013.
“We have extended our apologies to the party, while reaching an agreement with their legal representatives.
“We would like to assure customers that incidents of this type are rare, as Thomas Cook closely audits all the properties to which it operates to ensure that only the very highest hygiene standards are maintained.
“We would kindly ask any customers who may have concerns relating to their holiday to contact us directly and as quickly as possible so that we can deal with them personally in an open, honest and fair manner.”