A SOLIHULL family who suffered severe food poisoning while on a holiday from hell in Bulgaria last July are now awaiting settlement after their tour company finally admitted liability this week.
Anita and John Riley, together with one of their teenage children Jack, were struck down with stomach cramps, diarrhoea and vomiting while staying at the Riu Helios Bay Hotel in Bulgaria.
Such was the extent of their illness, that Anita Riley was later diagnosed with salmonella poisoning on her return to the UK which took her several months to recover.
She admitted to the News: “I’m reluctant to book another holiday after what happened.
“My son has practically forgotten about it and is looking forward to receiving some money but it still upsets me when I think of how poorly he was.
“Both my husband John and Jack were ill for seven to ten days after going down with the sickness.
“I got worse when we returned home and was then told I had salmonella”.
The Rileys had booked through Portland Holidays, which is part of the TUI UK Ltd travel group.
However it was discovered there were previous problems at the same hotel back in 2006.
TUI UK denied liability on that occasion but instead reached an out of court settlement.
Anita added: “At the time, there were things that didn’t look quite right - but you look over it.
“We noticed that food was often left uncovered, appeared to have been reheated and was undercooked.
“On one occasion we found the chicken that was served was still pink in the middle.
“One by one John, Jack and myself fell ill. The holiday was a complete nightmare and we were all so thankful to come home.
“I don’t know what I want from the settlement now. I just hope they put things right and that nobody else has to go through what we did”.
Amandeep Dhillon of travel law experts Irwin Mitchell, who has been representing the Rileys and other families taken ill in both 2006 and 2009 claimed:
We are pleased that TUI UK Ltd has accepted liability for the illness suffered by the Riley family and their fellow holidaymakers at the Riu Helios Hotel in 2009.
“We hope that TUI UK Ltd will now enter constructive negotiations with us to ensure that full and fair compensation is paid out to our clients”.