Cryptosporidium poisoning compensation claims
The following guide sets out what you need to know about making a cryptosporidium poisoning compensation claim.
Cryptosporidium is a parasite which causes an infection - cryptosporidiosis. It is a leading cause of human gastrointestinal infection in the UK.
Cryptosporidium poisoning claims most commonly arise following a bout of the illness on holiday.
Work-related illness claims are also possible in situations where employers or colleagues do no follow Health and Safety procedures, and staff become sick as a result.
Our network of solicitors do not currently have the capacity to take on holiday-related injury and sickness claims outside the UK. It is recommended that you contact a personal injury specialist solicitor to discuss your options as soon as possible, as some jurisdictions have limitation dates of less than the three year limit that is standard in the UK.
If you have suffered cryptosporidium poisoning in the last three years (longer if children were involved) and someone else was to blame, then we can help you make a compensation claim.
As a parasite, Cryptosporidium lives within other organisms and can infect humans, cattle and other animals. It is passed out in their waste products, which leads to contamination of soil and water or other surfaces.
Human infection occurs when Cryptosporidium oocysts (the hardy cyst stage of the parasite's life cycle) are ingested by mouth. This may happen through neglecting to hand wash after working outside or cleaning bathrooms and then entering an area of food preparation or a swimming pool.
The oocysts can survive in the environment and in water for long periods of time.
It is also possible to pick up an infection through contact with infected animals.
I have a strong claim - why won't a solicitor take it on?
The largest outbreaks of cryptosporidiosis occur through contaminated water.
Drinking water may become contaminated with sewage due to inadequate filtration to remove the parasite.
Not only does this affect water that is drunk, used for ice cubes or used for teeth cleaning, but also fruit and vegetables that may have been washed in contaminated water.
Swimming in contaminated water can also lead to infection. This includes hotel swimming pools as well as lakes and rivers, as chlorination does not always kill the parasite.
Quittance's panel of lawyers have helped a wide range of people who were infected with Cryptosporidium, although the illness is most common in children between 1 and 5 years of age. Parents of affected children may start a claim on their behalf.
Travellers to countries that have poor sanitation may be at risk of developing a Cryptosporidium infection. The infection has an incubation period of around 7 days and the symptoms can last up to 2 or even 3 weeks.
Healthy people with cryptosporidiosis will recover without treatment but in individuals with severely weakened immune systems, serious, prolonged and potentially life-threatening illness may develop.
You can also claim for compensation if the poisoning made an existing condition worse.
Many people who contract Cryptosporidium on holiday believe they have food poisoning or a viral illness. However, their illness may have been caused by contaminated water - either from the swimming pool, salads washed in contaminated water, drinking water or ice in drinks.
It may be possible to claim compensation from the tour operator; for the illness itself, the loss of holiday enjoyment and any losses incurred as a consequence of the illness. These might be treatment costs or loss of earnings if unable to work after returning from holiday.
Bringing a claim can be complicated as a claimant may have been swimming in other pools or eaten or drunk in places other than the hotel.
It may also be difficult for a GP to specifically diagnose cryptosporidiosis.
Evidence of poisoning
There may be other guests at the hotel who also became infected. This would make it likely that everyone's illness came from the same source and can be crucial evidence.
If the hotel has neglected to carry out the proper systems, procedures and processes necessary to deal with the bug then they may be found liable for the infection.
If possible, gather details of witnesses and others affected by the disease, including their names and addresses. This can make the likelihood of a successful claim much greater.
If you or your family have been infected with Cryptosporidium while on holiday, Quittance's panel of solicitors may be able to help you claim compensation for your losses.
A No Win, No Fee compensation claim begins with a claimant signing up to a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) with their chosen lawyer.
A Conditional Fee Agreement is essentially a contract or "terms and conditions" between the lawyer and you.
It sets out the service delivered by your solicitor and a percentage success fee. This is the amount to be taken from the compensation when the claim is successful.
Using a Quittance personal injury lawyer, you will have peace of mind with the knowledge that you will never be out of pocket.
The amount of compensation you will receive depends on a number of factors. Our personal injury compensation calculator provides an accurate estimate of your likely compensation.
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About the author
Paul is a member of the Law Society Personal Injury Panel, a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers, and has served as a Deputy District Judge, giving him a uniquely broad understanding of the claims process.
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