Families’ legal action against five-star resort after food poisoning horror stories

Families’ legal action against five-star resort after food poisoning horror stories

A dad has told how he lost more than a stone in weight after being struck down with severe food poisoning at a five-star luxury resort.

Graham Lamont, 59, became unwell during a family holiday to celebrate his daughter finishing school at the Riu Palace Santa Maria, in Cape Verde.

But months later, the NHS training manager is still being treated by doctors and is now among ten claimants seeking a law suit against the resort due to illness.

Among them is also grieving widow, Sarah Tootell, 44, whose trip to the West African island to scatter her late husband’s ashes was wrecked when she became ill.

Graham’s wife, Josephine Black, 53, who is also part of the legal probe after becoming sick, said: “We’ve both needed time off work, but as I have started to improve, Graham has continued to struggle with illness.

“The amount of weight he’s lost is such a big concern now and doctors have taken a number of blood tests to discover more about his illness.

“This is the last thing you expect from a five-star holiday and we now wish we’d never been.

“We’ve spoken to others who fell ill at the same time and have seen terrible reports about this hotel since coming home.

“I just wish we’d seen some of these reviews before we left.”

Lorraine Wilson and Mark Bonner (Irwin Mitchell / SWNS)

Council worker Josephine said the couple, from Glasgow, had jetted off to the island for a week-long stay at the resort with their two kids on May 10.

The trip, booked through TUI, was a chance to celebrate their daughter Freya, 18, finishing school and to enjoy a final family break before she began university.

But it was not long before they began to suffer the effects of food poisoning at the same hotel where over 300 bouts have been reported since 2022.

On May 13, Josephine suffered severe stomach cramps and diarrhea while Graham fell ill with similar symptoms on May 16, just before they were due to return home.

He later lost more than 17lb in weight and remains ill to this day.

Josephine said: “This trip was booked as a special treat with Freya finishing school and as probably our last family holiday together before she starts university.

“We’ve never tried five-star or all-inclusive before and this seemed a perfect time. We couldn’t have been more wrong.

“I started to be sick a day into the holiday and I have never felt so ill in my life.

“I was still ill on returning home but Graham has seemed to get the worst of it. He was so poorly, and had to travel the following day.”

Lorraine Wilson and Mark Bonner in Cape Verde (Irwin Mitchell / SWNS)

Sarah Tootell, from Bury, Lancs., fell ill on the sun-kissed island where she’d headed on May 8 for a week-long stay with her daughter, Halle, nine.

The trip, also booked via TUI, was the first time Sarah travelled alone with her child and was a chance to scatter the ashes of her husband, who died six years ago.

But as they were returning on May 16, Sarah became feverish and later suffered severe sickness and diarrhea.

Tests by her GP back home confirmed that she had contracted shigella, a form of food poisoning that comes from eating or drinking contaminated produce.

She still feels nauseous and still struggles to eat normally more than a month on.

Sarah said: “This was the first time I had travelled on my own with Halle and took a lot of courage to book in the first place, so I’m devastated by the way things have turned out.

“I had concerns about the food, including the number of animals around and flies on some of the dishes left out.

“We always avoided these but there also seemed to be a lot of food brought back to life too, with ribs at lunchtime recycled in a rib curry at night, dishes like that.”

She felt unwell on the flight home and then suffered diarrhea, sickness and stomach cramps.

She added: “My GP said it was likely something from the holiday but I couldn’t believe it when I got a call from public health who said I had tested positive for shigella.

Jatinder Paul, serious injury lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, said: “It’s deeply concerning that we have been instructed to act year after year.

“Many of our clients have reported worryingly similar experiences and patterns that have left many of them seriously ill.

“Our clients understandably have many questions of how they came to be so ill and why people are still being sent to the resort, when based on what we’re seeing, lessons don’t appear to have been learned from previous illness outbreaks among guests.”

Source: independent.co.uk