A FAMILY whose every member suffered a terrifying and debilitating illness during a holiday in Turkey have taken their battle for compensation to court.
Jim Nixon, his wife Anthea and their three children became desperately ill with severe gastric poisoning just two days into their holiday in August 2009.
The outbreak which struck at the Holiday Village Turkey, Sarigerme, saw them hit by severe stomach cramps, sickness and diarrhoea.
This week the family joined nearly 600 British tourists whose holidays were ruined by illness including Salmonella poisoning and E. Coli between May and October 2009 at the hotel offered exclusively by tour operator TUI UK Ltd.
Speaking of the ordeal, Mr Nixon, of St James’s Road, South Shore, said: “When we first arrived at the complex it looked fantastic and actually very well maintained but cracks soon began to show.
“The restaurant was open air and there were wild cats prowling round and helping themselves to leftovers on people’s plates.
“The food was lukewarm, as if it had been re heated and hot and cold food seemed to have been mixed together.
“After two days our youngest, Keira, who was three at the time, became very ill with sickness and diarrhoea, she couldn’t eat or drink anything. It was very distressing, for her and for us to watch, we had to take it in turns to be by her side, not what you expect for a £2,500 holiday.
“By the end of the holiday we had all been infected and my two other children, Jake, 14 and Rhys, nine, suffered from acute gastroenteritis for almost two months.
The 500-room hotel, which was the subject of an investigation by BBC consumer show Watchdog in 2009, has seen more than 1,200 people take legal action since 2005 following repeated incidents of gastric illness, with most disgruntled guests complaining of having to eat under cooked food surrounded by birds and insects, and a poor attitude from tour reps.
Mr Nixon, 39, told The Gazette he was shocked by news of prior problems.
He said: “I was so angry, people have been complaining since 2005 yet the complex was able to remain open making people ill.”
High Court proceedings have been started against TUI UK Ltd by solicitors Irwin Mitchell.
Clive Garner, head of travel law, said: “The scale of problems our clients have suffered at this hotel is deeply disturbing. Despite warnings there have been hundreds of complaints and cases of serious illness across six years along with numerous reports of unhygienic conditions.”