Compensation for 11 claimants with gastroenteritis

Compensation for claims for gastroenteritis and post infective irritable bowel syndrome in varying amounts were paid to 11 claimants who all suffered gastroenteritis illness on holiday in the Dominican Republic at a wedding party.

Illness details

All of the claimants suffered acute symptoms on holiday, and afterwards they all suffered from post-infective irritable bowel syndrome in varying degrees of severity and frequency. Most of the claimants went to their GPs about their symptoms, some did not.

Allegation

It was alleged that the defendant was negligent insofar as they failed to observe reasonable standards of hygiene when preparing food.

The 11 claimants maintained that they had all suffered gastroenteritis and post-infective irritable bowel syndrome to varying degrees which had substantially affected their enjoyment of their holiday and the wedding.

Some of the Claimants still suffered from symptoms for 2-3 years following the injury.

One of the claimants had an unrelated terminal illness and it was alleged that she would suffer from symptoms for the remainder of her life.

The claimants alleged that they had gained some enjoyment from the holiday but the substantial part of the holiday had been ruined by their illness.

Settlement and conclusion

The matter progressed to a Court hearing.

The Judge accepted the some of the claimants didn't attend their GPs because their symptoms were short-lived and by the time an appointment could be obtained the episode had passed. One particular claimant found that her GP discouraged her from consulting him about matters such as diarrhoea. The Judge accepted that the claimants had not been able to afford to see the local doctor in the Dominican Republic and that they had not needed to because one of them was a qualified nurse.

The Judge decided it was appropriate to award 60 per cent of the value of the holiday instead of taking the number of days' illness as a percentage of the holiday cost.

The judge awarded the bride and groom £4,000 each for loss of enjoyment because the reason for the holiday was bride's wish to have her wedding in a tropical setting with her family around her. The Judge decided that this was more than a case of just a bad holiday and that their wedding day was a one-off event which should have been have been a wonderful memory for the rest of their lives without the blight of the food poisoning. He awarded the other claimants £1,000 for loss of enjoyment and refused to distinguish between the adults and children.

Claimant 1 was awarded £13,000 for pain suffering and loss of amenity, £677 for diminution of the value of the holiday and £1000 for loss of enjoyment.

Claimant 2 who fell ill 2 days after arrival was awarded £10,000 for PSLA, £600 for diminution of holiday and £1,000 for loss of enjoyment:

Claimant 3 suffered symptoms for 3.5 years after the infection and was awarded £10,000 for PSLA, £677 for diminution of the holiday and £1,000 for loss of enjoyment.

Claimant 4 (the bridegroom) suffered from mild symptoms indefinitely and was awarded £9,000 for PSLA, £677 for diminution of the holiday and £4,000 for loss of enjoyment.

Claimant 5 (the bride) suffered from mild symptoms indefinitely and was awarded £9,000 for PSLA, £677 for diminution of the holiday and £4,000 for loss of enjoyment.

Claimant 6 (a child) suffered symptoms for approximately 3 years was awarded £7,500 for PSLA, £287 for diminution of the holiday and £1,000 for loss of enjoyment.

Claimant 7 suffered mild symptoms for approximately 3.5 years was awarded £6,500 for PSLA, £677 for diminution of the holiday and £1,000 for loss of enjoyment.

Claimant 8 suffered mild symptoms for approximately 4.5 to 5 years was awarded £6,500 for PSLA, £677 for diminution of the holiday and £1,000 for loss of enjoyment.

Claimant 9 (a child) suffered mild symptoms for approximately 2-3 years was awarded £5,500 for PSLA, £287 for diminution of the holiday and £1,000 for loss of enjoyment.

Claimant 10 (a child) suffered mild symptoms for approximately 2-3 years was awarded £5,500 for PSLA, £287 for diminution of the holiday and £1,000 for loss of enjoyment.

Claimant 11 (a child) suffered mild symptoms for approximately 3 years was awarded £5,500 for PSLA, £287 for diminution of the holiday and £1,000 for loss of enjoyment.