Father gets settlement after holiday hell

Dirk Ord on holiday with his son in the Dominican Republic in 2012 before falling seriously ill.
Dirk Ord on holiday with his son in the Dominican Republic in 2012 before falling seriously ill.

A father has secured a five-figure settlement after falling seriously ill on holiday.

Dirk Ord, from Seaton Delaval, was rushed to hospital in the Dominican Republic during his two-week stay at the luxury Dreams Resort and Spa in September 2012 after suffering diarrhoea, vomiting and stomach pains.

The 54-year-old and nine of his friends booked the holiday through tour operator TUI UK Limited T/A First Choice to celebrate various events, including his birthday.

Dirk was rushed to hospital when the symptoms failed to subside after attending the hotel’s medical centre. He spent 48 hours in hospital and continued to suffer health issues on his return to the UK.

On his return, he instructed lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate the conditions at the Dreams Resort and Spa, securing Dirk a five-figure settlement despite TUI UK Limited T/A First Choice denying liability for his illness.

Dirk said during his stay, he was concerned to see food left uncovered in the restaurant areas, food was recycled at different meal times and fresh food was being mixed in with old food.

Dirk said: “It was very scary how ill I became. At one point, I was really concerned about what might happen when I was rushed to hospital.”

“The fact that the illness forced me to alter my diet just added insult to injury and I’m delighted that my legal team has now been able to secure a settlement from the tour operator to cover the loss of a holiday with my friends, the illness I suffered and the impact it continues to have on my life.

“It was supposed to be a special holiday to celebrate various events in our lives but we were left with terrible memories. I hope that I can now put this terrible ordeal behind me and move on with my life.”

Jennifer Downing, an expert travel illness lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, said: “The ordeal Dirk and his friends endured shows just how serious gastric illnesses can be and the long-term impacts they can have on victims. Dirk required medical treatment at the hotel and a local hospital, as well as enduring the symptoms on his return to the UK.

“We are now delighted to have secured him a fair settlement that will cover the cost of his ruined holiday, the illness he suffered and the long-term impact this illness had on his diet and day-to-day life. Hopefully, Dirk can now put this experience behind him and begin to look forward.

“A number of other cases relating to illness suffered by holidaymakers during their stay at the Dreams Resort & Spa are ongoing and we are working to achieve a fair settlement for their ordeals.”