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28 October 2015
A disabled client was awarded damages of £30,000 following a slip in a hotel bathroom in Turkey.
Slater and Gordon Lawyer: Kieran Mitchell is a Travel and International Litigation Solicitor at Slater and Gordon Lawyers in London.
What Happened: Our client and his wife were taking part in a package holiday to Turkey, booked with Hays Travel.
Our client is disabled, suffering from a previous spinal condition and drop-foot. As such, they always reserve disabled accessible accommodation but, despite having done so in this case, their room was in the lower ground floor (which necessitated negotiating a flight of steps) and it had no accessible shower.
The shower door did not seal properly, meaning that water leaked indiscriminately into the bathroom. Due to a combination of the water on the floor, the lack of accessible facilities (no handrails) and our client’s disability, he slipped and fell to the floor.
Impact: Our client suffered a wedge fracture to his T8 vertebra.
How Slater and Gordon Helped: Liability was firmly denied initially on the basis that our client’s holiday did not constitute a package (and therefore the Package Travel Regulations did not apply, and they were not liable for the hotel’s negligence).
Hays Travel ordinarily only act as an agent, as opposed to a tour operator, so ordinarily the claim would have to be pursued against the hotel in Turkey (which would be subject to Turkish law and therefore worth far less).
After obtaining a copy of the call recording from when the holiday was booked, we were able to convince the Defendant that whilst they did not actually sell a package, it was clear that the way it was sold led our client to think that what he was purchasing was a package, and that he therefore should benefit from the consumer protection that comes with that.
Decision: A settlement of £30,000 for damages was agreed.
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