A Blackpool dad has today relived his ordeal after being handed £7,000 in compensation following a nightmare holiday which saw his entire family struck down with illness.
Jim Nixon’s family, including his wife, Anthea, and three children who were three, seven and 12 at the time, came down with gastric illness while staying at the Holiday Village resort in Sarigerme, Turkey, in 2009.
They are among almost 600 people who have be awarded a total of £1.7m in a settlement with First Choice Holidays.
Each member of the Nixon family, of St James’ Road, South Shore, came down with severe sickness, diarrhoea and stomach cramps during their summer holiday, but the youngest family member, Keira, was so ill she could not leave the hotel room for five days.
When the family returned to the UK doctors prescribed antibiotics to help Keira, now eight, get over the illness while her brothers, Jake, 17, and Rhys, 12, suffered acute gastroenteritis for almost two months.
Mr Nixon, a Blackpool taxi driver, said: “We were only there a week and we spent most of our time in the room. It’s not what you expect on a £2,500 holiday.
“A lot of people who were there at the same time as us said they had the same thing and when we were on the coach on our way back to the airport one family said their child had been on a drip in hospital they were so bad.
“We’ve never experienced anything so bad.”
Mr Nixon, 41, said during his stay he noticed food was being served warm instead of hot and staff were not cleaning their hands after handling food.
He added: “The pool wasn’t cleaned.
“A child had had an accident and they were meant to clean it with some kind of chemical and leave it for 24 hours, but they only left it for a few hours, which isn’t good.”
Specialist travel lawyers Irwin Mitchell secured the settlement for holiday makers, including 160 children, across the UK who came down with severe illness while at Holiday Village resort.
They said guests told them faeces was seen in the swimming pools, some food was undercooked and left uncovered for long periods, crockery and cutlery was often dirty in the restaurant, toilets were frequently dirty and had no hot water and food sometimes appeared to be reheated and reserved at later meals.
More than 100 people, including children, came down with serious illnesses including salmonella and E-Coli during the stay.
The hotel was featured shortly after the Nixon’s stay on BBC’s Watchdog programme.
Mr Nixon said: “This was not a nice experience, and it put us off going on holiday for a couple of years.
“Our fight against the holiday firm has been an uphill battle, and this settlement has been a long time coming, but we will put the money towards another holiday to make up for the one we lost.”
Suki Chhokar, a partner in Irwin Mitchell’s travel litigation team said: “We are delighted for our clients that they have received a fair settlement from the tour operator after enduring such terrible times at the Holiday Village hotel in Turkey.
“Clearly holidaymakers should not have been exposed to conditions like those that prevailed at the Holiday Village in Turkey and the entire legal team at Irwin Mitchell are delighted that justice has finally been done for our clients.”
A spokesman for First Choice Holidays said they were unable to comment on the settlements.