October 21, 2020

British Airways pays out £15k bill after five-star Caribbean holiday ruined by food poisoning

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By Tristan Kirk From Evening Standard UK

Jessic Librati outside Central London County Court ( Champion News )

British Airways has paid out £15,000 to a marketing manager after her five-star romantic holiday to the Caribbean was ruined by a bout of suspected food poisoning

Jessica Librati, 30, and her fiance booked an all-inclusive break to the Dominican Republic through the airline, but she was laid low just three days into the trip after eating from the hotel buffet.

She sued BA for compensation for the 2017 holiday, blaming undercooked chicken served in the buffet. She argued that the airline was liable as it had guaranteed high-quality food throughout the holiday. 

BA denied responsibility for her sickness, but has now agreed to pay out more than £15,000 in compensation and costs after a judge found that “infected food” from the hotel had probably been to blame. 

Ms Librati, a digital marketing manager for pharmaceutical firm Walgreens Boots Alliance, told Central London county court she ate chicken at the five-star Occidental Punta Cana Hotel, but left it half-finished when she noticed it was “very red” in the middle.

“It was Dominican five-star so you don’t have the same expectation as if you were going to the Ritz in London, but it was still a five-star holiday, so it was disappointing”, she said. “The chicken appeared pink and undercooked. I’m not the sort of person to make a big fuss, I just got something else.”

Her barrister, Sam Stevens, said Ms Librati also noticed “under-cooked crepes and pasta”, and she insisted she had not eaten anywhere outside the hotel before she was struck down with gastro-enteritis just three days into her holiday.

She had to be taken in a hotel car to see a local doctor and was left sick in her hotel room for the rest of her holiday. BA lawyers were “adamant that food standards were high” in the hotel’s 11 dining areas, and said no other guests had complained of being ill. 

But Judge Alexander Hill-Smith ruled the airline was liable, adding that the precise cause of her sickness would never be known. BA agreed to pay £4,250 compensation to Ms Librati and were ordered to pay £11,000 for her legal costs

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