Fourteen guests who fell ill while staying at a Blackpool hotel have enlisted lawyers to investigate.
They were among a group of 18 Tesco workers from Manchester who booked into The Lyndene Hotel on The Promenade last Friday, January 9, for a belated Christmas party the following night.
But after the party they fell ill with symptoms including vomiting, diarrhoea, headaches and fever, and public health lawyers Irwin Mitchell are looking into the possibility they had contracted norovirus.
The four members of the party, who were not unwell, have also asked Irwin Mitchell to investigate on their behalf on the basis that the illness affecting their colleagues spoiled their stay.
The law firm says members of the party have reported that other guests staying at the hotel at the time were also suffering with similar symptoms – as reported in The Gazette on Thursday when two families spoke out following the outbreak.
One member of the group, Jacqueline Carter, 51, from Worsley in Greater Manchester said: “This is the third year we have visited the hotel for our party and we have never had any problems in the past.
“This year was absolutely horrendous though, as the majority of our group fell ill and suffered violent vomiting, diarrhoea and a fever.
“The whole experience was ruined and we all left feeling angry and disappointed.
“I had to take time off work when I got back home as I was so ill. We were shocked to see that the hotel was still allowing guests to check in after it had become quite clear to us there was a serious illness outbreak going on there.”
Amandeep Dhillon, a partner and expert public health lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, said: “It is very worrying to hear of the reports of an illness outbreak of this scale at a UK hotel.
“Our work acting for victims of illnesses, including norovirus, both at home and abroad, means we are fully aware of the significant impact such issues can have on those affected, often leaving them with long-term health problems which can disrupt all aspects of their lives.
“Steps must be taken to determine the cause of this illness outbreak and how issues like this can be avoided in the future. Hopefully, the investigation will help provide our clients with the answers they deserve after their party was ruined by illness.”
A manager at the hotel, who declined to be named, told The Gazette earlier this week: “Any room that people have been ill in has been blocked off for a week and sterilised and we ask people to stay in their room for 48 hours. We follow all steps that environmental health tell us to do.”
Blackpool Council sent an officer to the hotel after the outbreak was reported and gave managers advice on infection control and is liaising with Public Health England on the incident.
It is awaiting samples from guests which will be tested to try to diagnose the strain of virus that was causing illness.