A holidaymaker is suing Europe’s biggest tour operator after he contracted salmonella which resulted in him losing the use of his knee.
Philip Simpson, 65, claims he picked up the gastric illness while holidaying at a luxury Tui resort in the Dominican Republic in 2017.
However, Simpson’s lawyers state that TUI has denied liability.
He and his wife and daughter were staying at the Bahia Principe Luxury Bouganville Hotel on an all-inclusive basis when all three claim to have fallen ill just four days into their holiday.
The family also claim they didn’t eat or drink anywhere outside the resort during that time.
While his wife and daughter’s symptoms soon improved, Simpson’s condition worsened, and he was given antibiotics and electrolytes.
Once back in the UK, his right knee, which had been replaced with a prosthetic 10 years earlier, developed a swelling.
Simpson was admitted to hospital, where salmonella was diagnosed.
His prosthetic knee had to be removed in 2019 after it was found to be infected with the bacterial disease.
The infection was so severe that surgeons could not initially replace the knee, and had to pack the cavity instead, leaving Simpson with “very limited mobility”.
In January 2020, he was finally free of the bug and his knee replacement operation was scheduled for April 2020. However, the coronavirus pandemic means the procedure has now been postponed indefinitely.
“My life is effectively on hold until I get this operation,” he said.
“I’m in a lot of pain and I have very limited mobility - I rely on my wife for support with daily activities and care, which has put a lot of pressure on her.
“It has had a massive impact on both our lives - before this happened, I worked in the power industry as a Project Engineer and part-time as a lighting engineer for theatres but now I’m stuck here in the house just waiting for things to get better; I feel helpless.”
According to Simpson’s lawyers, Tui has denied liability for the illness.
“We didn’t eat or drink outside of the hotel, so it beggars belief really,” he said.
Simpson has subsequently decided to take legal action against the holiday company.
“Phillip contracted salmonella while on holiday at a TUI resort - an illness which has wrought a terrible toll on his body, leaving him without a working knee joint for a very long period of time,” said Joanne Brine, a partner at law firm JMW Solicitors who is representing Simpson.
“The family has repeatedly contacted TUI, but have been roundly ignored, so, given Philip’s ongoing complications, the family felt there was no option but to seek legal advice.”
She added: “We have received a formal denial from TUI, which inaccurately asserts the illness could have been caused by excessive alcohol, in response to which our team has gathered three medical reports and a microbiology report and we have commenced legal proceedings.
“This has been a horrendous time for the family and it’s important that Philip receives the compensation he is due to help him to rebuild his life and to provide the support he will need in the future.”
A Tui Spokesperson told The Independent: “We’d like to express our sincere condolences to Mr Simpson and his family for their experience while on holiday in the Dominican Republic.
“Unfortunately, as this is now a legal matter it is inappropriate for us to comment at this time.”
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