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Mum's payout for holiday from hell

PUBLISHED: 12:54 25 June 2009 | UPDATED: 16:52 25 August 2010

A MOTHER who has won compensation for her nightmare Caribbean holiday is relieved her two-year-legal battle is over.

A MOTHER who has won compensation for her nightmare Caribbean holiday is relieved her two-year-legal battle is over.

The teaching assistant, 48, from Crayford, who does not want to be named, was one of more than 500 British tourists who won a settlement of over £2.5million, having been struck down with a stomach bug at their luxury Dominican Republic hotel.

Irwin Mitchell solicitors reached a settlement with tour operator Thomas Cook and its subsidiary My Travel for the Brits last Monday, who were staying at the Bahia Principe hotel in San Juan in 2007.

The holiday companies continued sending guests to the four-star hotel despite a major outbreak of Shigella and Salmonella which lasted for months.

The mother-of-one said: "It was a beautiful and immaculate hotel. There was nothing physically that could lead you to predict the hell that was waiting for you.

"We had never been to the Caribbean before so we were really excited about it."

But within two days of arriving at the £2,500 all-inclusive holiday, her daughter started projectile vomiting and.

By the end of the week she and her husband were also suffering from vomiting and diarrhoea.

She said: "My husband couldn't reach the toilet when we were there. I went down to reception to tell them to call a doctor and they said put a nappy on him to take him to the medical centre.

"The medical centre was about 10 or 15 minutes from the hotel and it was full of people.

"We tried to find a rep and there was not one about. There was nobody there to help us. The hotel did more to help us that the travel companies.

"It was quite frightening.

"Some people had to have new mattresses because they hadn't made it to the toilet in time.

"There were children screaming all over the place and pregnant women."

The undisclosed amount of compensation makes up for the "inconvenience" of the holiday, she said.

She added: "It wasn't a great amount. We were very lucky as we were not that ill compared with some people. We didn't have any lasting effects and we were okay after September."

The family are planning to use the money for a holiday to Mexico this summer.

A spokesperson for Thomas Cook said: "We take all reports of illness very seriously and we were very concerned by the outbreak of sickness that took place at the Bahia Principe in 2007.

"We are pleased that the majority of legal cases have now been settled and we want to be able to reassure all our customers that we work with our hotel partners to continually monitor the hygiene standards in their properties."

marina.soteriou@archant.co.uk.

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