Holiday ‘hell’ family to sue

Viva Picafort, holiday hell
Viva Picafort, holiday hell
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A FAMILY of four from Sheffield are among a group of 20 people suing tour giants First Choice - over an alleged Spanish holiday from hell.

Nigel Hancock, aged 48, along with his wife Paula, 32, and their children Lauren, 10, and Max Hancock, seven, of Stone Street, Mosborough, Sheffield, were struck down by a stomach bug they claim was caused by hygiene issues at the all-inclusive Holiday Village Viva Picafort in Mallorca.

They say the hotel was dirty, the pool harboured bugs, guests were served undercooked food and there were birds, insects and cats in the dining areas.

They further claim their bedrooms were not cleaned properly, staff were unhelpful and toilets and communal areas were not kept clean.

A writ issued at London’s High Court claims most of the customers contracted gastrointestinal infections andsome were diagnosed with the bug cryptosporidium.

Others developed post-infective irritable bowel syndrome, the writ says.

The Hancocks are accusing First Choice of negligence and supplying misleading information.

They say the company failed to ensure all food and drink was safe, provided unhygienic food and drink which made them ill, failed to wash, cook and properly heat the food, and failed to ensure it was properly refrigerated.

The tour operators failed to ensure buffet food was covered, and guests were served undercooked or reheated foods, it is alleged.

The company is said to have failed to act on previous complaints of gastric illness by other guests, and failed to warn the group about them.

The group allege their bedrooms were not properly cleaned and smelt unpleasant from inadequate plumbing and that plumbing and electrics were not safe.

Air conditioning units were intolerably noisy, and the rooms were not in good decorative repair, they say.

They claim the swimming pool harboured the bug crytosporium, and the pool was not properly cleaned.

Toilets and communal areas of the hotel were not kept clean and hygienic, and there was no proper system of inspecting and monitoring the standards and services of the hotel, the writ says.

The group also says that holiday reps failed to heed their complaints or properly investigate them.

A First Choice spokeswoman said: “We can confirm a no-win, no-fee law firm has issued court proceedings in relation to allegations of illness at the Holiday Village Viva, Majorca in 2008.

“Our legal team are engaged in ongoing communications with the firm. Therefore, it would be inappropriate for us to make further comment on the case.

“First Choice would like to take this opportunity to assure all its customers we closely audit all the resorts to which we operate, including the Holiday Village Viva, Majorca to ensure health, hygiene and comfort levels are maintained.”

She added: “The Holiday Village Viva, Majorca continues to be extremely popular with our guests.”