Thomas Cook sued last month over same Egyptian hotel where a British couple died

Thomas Cook sued last month over same Egyptian hotel where a British couple has died

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Thomas Cook was successfully sued last month after a family suffered gastric illness while staying at the same Egyptian hotel where a British couple has died, according to a law firm.

The family from South Wales accused the tour operating company of failing to ensure food and drink at the Steigenberger Aqua Magic Hotel was “safe for human consumption”.

Manchester law firm JMW Solicitors, who acted on behalf of the family, said Newport County Court ordered Thomas Cook to pay £26,000 in compensation and costs.

The family had become ill while staying at the Steigenberger Aqua Magic Hotel in the resort town of Hurghada, on a Thomas Cook package holiday in April 2016.

It is the same hotel where John and Susan Cooper, from Burnley, were staying when they died on August 21.

Mr Cooper, 69, died in his room, and Mrs Cooper, 63, who was also a Thomas Cook employee, died after being taken to hospital, according to their daughter Kelly Ormerod.

Thomas Cook chief executive Peter Fankhauser flew to Egypt on Wednesday to meet the country's Prime Minister to discuss the deaths.

 

‘It should set off alarm bells’

The family who sued Thomas Cook claimed they suffered stomach illnesses for approximately two months.

Joanne Brine, a partner at JMW Solicitors, said the firm commissioned a handwriting expert who found that the hotel's food temperature and cleaning records were completed by one person despite four different people apparently signing the entries.

She went on: "It's very sad to hear of the deaths of John and Susan Cooper on what should have been a happy family holiday, yet also incredibly concerning given our experience with this hotel in regards to hygiene standards.

"The fact that we have brought concerns to Thomas Cook's attention about the accuracy and reliability of the Steigenberger Aqua Magic Hotel's record-keeping should set off alarm bells for those investigating what the failings of the management team to safeguard the health of its guests may have been on this occasion.”

Thomas Cook said in a statement: "The safety and well-being of our customers is always our first priority and we would never send customers to a hotel which we do not believe to be safe.

"We audit all 3,000 of our core hotels every year and so far this calendar year we have removed 47 hotels for health and safety reasons and a further 150 which did not meet our strict quality criteria.

"As well as the audits, our quality teams regularly inspect our properties and provide support, guidance and training to help hotels improve. We last audited Steigenberger Aqua Magic in July 2018."