Holiday couple seek compensation for food poisoning

A couple who contracted salmonella whilst on holiday have lodged a compensation claim against the travel company that organised their trip.

Lesley Hocking and her husband Kenneth had booked their holiday with travel firm Cosmos. They were on a ten-day vacation to the Maldives Islands in the Indian Ocean. They had gone there to celebrate there 25 year wedding anniversary, when they came down with the illness that spoilt their holiday.

The couple aged 50 and 59, from Woolavington in Somerset, who spent £2,500 on their dream holiday, spoke of about how they felt abandoned and isolated by holiday resort staff on their trip in November last year. Mrs Hocking is still recovering from the food poisoning five months after she caught it, with crippling intermittent stomach pains.

Mrs Hocking, who works as a nurse at Musgrove Park Hospital, said: “This was a seriously awful holiday. The staff just did not support you and you felt so isolated as if you were a nuisance for being ill. This holiday was supposed to be for my husband and me to celebrate our silver wedding anniversary, and also as a belated 50th birthday for me. Instead, we were left with a holiday from hell knocking me sideways well after our return.”

Mr Hocking said: “I forked out £2,500 on this holiday and it was awful. It was supposed to be a nice holiday for me and my wife but it turned out to be hellish. I sent an eight-page letter to Cosmos, detailing what was wrong with the holiday and said I wanted all of my money back for the holiday at the very least. I received a reply which basically said ‘I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy yourselves, here’s £100 off your next holiday with us’. If they had fully refunded me, I would have let old dogs lie. But I’m not leaving it as it is.”

The couple are not the only holidaymakers who were struck down with the illness at the same resort. Many others also criticised the Summer Island Village resort staff and are taking legal action against Cosmos.

This firm has successfully represented a number of clients who have had their holiday ruined as a result of poor hygiene in a hotel, a restaurant or on a cruise. Some people, like Mrs Hocking, continue to suffer long after their holiday is over and we have recovered substantial damages on their behalf.

It is a fact that most incidents of food poisoning could be easily prevented if basic health and hygiene procedures are followed and it is the responsibility of the tour operator to ensure that they are.

A spokesperson for Cosmos said: “It is inappropriate for us to comment now the couple has gone to a solicitor.”

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