Harleston family’s compensation bid after holiday from hell

A family from Harleston has launched compensation proceedings after their first oversees holiday together ended in food poisoning.

Mark Herbert flew out to an all-inclusive resort in Turkey almost two years ago with his partner Stacey Moore and her two children, Sam and Ben Pegg.

But the ten day holiday turned into a nightmare after being struck down by sickness and diarrhoea four days before the end of their stay at the Holiday Village Turkey resort in Sarigerme.

The family have taken their battle for compensation to the courts after it emerged that hundreds of others had complained of gastric illnesses.

The family, who spent more than �2,000 on the First Choice holiday, has become part of a compensation claim, coordinated by Irwin Mitchell solicitors, involving almost 600 British tourists who became ill after holidaying at the 500 room hotel.

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Twelve-year-old Ben, who has learning difficulties, suffered salmonella poisoning and missed three weeks of school. His brother Sam, 13, was hit by cryptosporidium poisoning and suffered stomach cramps.

Mr Herbert, 43, and his partner, who both had sickness and diarrhoea, said they only realised that other families had similar symptoms after the resort was featured on the BBC's Watchdog show shortly after they returned from Turkey.

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'It was a bit of a shock. It is not cheap to go on holiday now and we spent a lot of time preparing for it. That was the first holiday we had as a family together and it was a big deal for Ben with his disability. It was not the outcome we wanted and it was quite a stressful time,' he said.

Mr Herbert said the problem was compounded when they returned when they were unable to visit his partner's father who was in hospital following a liver transplant.

Clive Garner, head of Irwin Mitchell's travel law team, said: 'The scale of problems our clients have suffered at this hotel is deeply disturbing. Despite the warnings there have been hundreds of complaints and cases of serious illness across six years along with numerous reports of unhygienic conditions.'

A spokesman for First Choice added: 'We closely audit all the resorts to which we operate, including the Holiday Village Turkey, to ensure that health, hygiene and comfort levels are maintained. Out of the 46,000 customers who have stayed there last year, only 0.42% have reported minor ailments such as a mild stomach upset.'

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