A family from Cheshire whose holiday was ruined when they all fell ill with a violent gastric bug have won compensation from their tour operator.

Dianne Blakeway, her husband and two adult sons were staying at the Gran Caribe Real Resort and Spa in Cancun, Mexico, with a party of friends and relatives celebrating a family wedding. There was an outbreak of gastrointestinal illness at the resort and all four of them contracted it.

To make matters worse, after she had recovered from the sickness bug, Mrs Blakeway slipped and fell on her way to the restaurant. She suffered soft tissue injuries and was in severe pain for several weeks.

Following the illness outbreak, the restaurant at the resort was closed for two days and corridors and rooms were also disinfected.

The Blakeway family brought a personal injury claim against the tour operator, Thomas Cook, which initially denied liability for their ruined holiday. However, after court proceedings were issued, an out-of-court settlement was reached. The family received £5,800 and Mrs Blakeway won £6,500 for her accident.

If you have had your holiday ruined by illness and wish to claim compensation from the tour operator, you will need to demonstrate that the resort they have contracted themselves to is the source of the sickness and that there was a failure to exercise reasonable care to prevent the infection or contamination.

Make sure you get as much evidence as possible and as quickly as possible. Photographs or films of unhygienic food preparation procedures can be very useful, for example. Also, make sure your complaints are formally noted in writing and given to the holiday representative and/or the resort manager, and make sure you keep a copy. Exchange addresses with any potential witnesses or fellow sufferers. If you are admitted to hospital, retain a copy of your medical notes.

Contact us as soon as possible for advice on how to proceed.