September 21, 2020

Tourist sues after contracting “life-threatening illness” at Caribbean resort


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Upset stomach - Stomach Ache - Human AnatomyFrom Caribbean360

, England, Tuesday October 14, 2014 – British tourist Sarah Bowes-Phipps’ dream Caribbean holiday abruptly turned into a nightmare when she allegedly came down with such a severe case of food poisoning that she had to have her gall bladder surgically removed.

Claiming that she contracted a “life-threatening illness” on an all-inclusive package holiday, the 31-year-old mother of one is suing Virgin Holidays for up to half a million pounds.

According to Bowes-Phipps, she fell ill a day after eating a piece of “unknown” fish in a restaurant infested with birds and stray cats at the and Spa in Antigua.

A writ filed at London’s stated that Mrs Bowes-Phipps ate “a small piece of an unknown fish in breadcrumbs, served lukewarm” after ordering the “catch of the day” at the resort’s beach bar and grill in September 2011.

Bowes-Phipps barrister, Asela Wijeyaratne, further stated in the writ that she did not consider the fish to have tasted “fresh,” and she went on to be awoken by “shooting, stabbing pains” next day and had to be transported to hospital by ambulance.

She was subsequently airlifted to a hospital in Florida, where she underwent emergency surgery, and remained there for almost a month before being airlifted back home to the UK, where she underwent further surgery.

Bowes-Phipps, from St Albans, was diagnosed with salmonella and secondary septicaemia. She is now seeking up to £500,000 in compensation from .

Mr Wijeyaratne said that Virgin sold Mrs Bowes-Phipps and her husband an all-inclusive one-week package holiday, and she did not consume any food or drink outside of the resort.

The barrister claimed that Virgin, through their agents at the hotel, “failed to ensure that food and drink served to Mrs Bowes-Phipps was safe for human consumption.”

He added that the resort had also “permitted stray cats and birds to enter the beach bar and grill restaurant with the consequent risk of contamination.”

The barrister alleged that there were no adequate food hygiene systems at the hotel and that the “hotel accommodation was so unsafe that no reasonable holidaymaker would agree to go on holiday there.”

According to the writ, the contents of which have not been tested in evidence before a judge, Mrs Bowes-Phipps’ claim is “currently expected to exceed £300,000, but to be less than £500,000 in total.”

A Virgin Holidays spokesperson said: “Virgin Holidays is aware of the complaints raised by Mrs Bowes-Phipps and the claim issued in the High Court of Justice.

“Virgin Holidays exercised all reasonable care and skill in the selection of the Verandah Resort and the monitoring of the services and facilities, including the provision of food and beverages.

“As Mrs Bowes-Phipps has now issued proceedings, solicitors representing the Verandah Resort will be filing a defence to the claim and it would be inappropriate for Virgin Holidays to comment any further on the matters now forming part of legal proceedings.”

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