Keighley family takes legal action against Butlins over 'holiday from hell' (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Keighley family takes legal action against Butlins over 'holiday from hell'
7:00am Saturday 20th October 2012 in News
They had hoped to enjoy a relaxing break at a family-friendly holiday resort.
Instead, James de Ledger St Claire, his partner Hayley Craven, three daughters and seven members of their extended family say they had a “holiday from hell” after being struck down with severe food poisoning only days after arriving at Butlins in Skegness – caused by what they have believe to be poor food hygiene.
The family, including a four-year-old who was hospitalised, are still suffering some symptoms of gastroenteritis nearly five months after the holiday in June.
Mr de Ledger St Clair, of Oakworth, Keighley, said: “Our holiday to Butlins in Skegness was meant to be an enjoyable and relaxing break at a family-friendly and traditional resort, but in reality it was a nightmare.
“As soon as we arrived things just didn’t seem right and the standards of cleanliness in some of the restaurants and children’s play areas were poor.
“Some food was under-cooked, there were insects spotted around food serving stations in some of the restaurants, our hotel room stunk and some of the public toilets were disgusting.
“When we complained about feeling ill, some staff were unsympathetic.”
The group started to suffer sickness, diarrhoea and stomach cramps a few days into the trip, which they believe were caused by the conditions and poor hygiene at Butlins Skegness.
Mr de Ledger St Claire, 31, claims some of the food in the restaurant was lukewarm, undercooked and recycled and that the family saw ants scurrying around the buffet serving stations in the restaurant.
A drain near a children’s play area was overflowing with sewage and public toilets had not been cleaned, he claimed.
When they informed staff about the widespread illness among their family, including children Lilly Mae, three, Daisy-Leigh, four, and eight-month-old Hattie-Lou, they claim they were not given access to the resort doctor.
They were asked to leave early to prevent other guests becoming ill, the family said.
Despite seeing their GP once they had returned to their home in Griffe View, Low Bank Lane, they are still suffering from sickness, lethargy and diarrhoea.
The family have now instructed specialist solicitors at Leeds-based Irwin Mitchell to take legal action against Bourne Leisure, the parent company of the Butlins group of resorts.
Their disastrous break comes a year after 258 guests instructed the law firm to seek justice on their behalf following holidays last year at the Butlins Bognor Regis in which they suffered gastric illness.
Bourne Leisure denied responsibility.
Jatinder Paul, a travel law solicitor at Irwin Mitchell, said: “Our experiences show that gastric illnesses can have long-term consequences and we are concerned to hear that James and Hayley are still experiencing some of the symptoms of the illness.”
A spokesman for Bourne Leisure said: “This case is with our solicitors and we are, therefore, unable to comment.
“However, as advised by the Health Protection Agency, whenever we become aware that guests on resort have contracted a contagious disease that has the potential to affect a large number of people quickly, we ask them to leave (when they are physically able) to minimise the risk to other guests.”