Two-hundred and nineteen holidaymakers have made a claim against Butlins after each fell ill from norovirus food poisoning, claiming their illness was due to health and safety negligence by the company.
Most of the illnesses occurred between May and July 2011 at the West Sussex resort, according to the Birmingham county Court. In total, two-hundred and nineteen guests were diagnosed with food poisoning caused by noroviruses, caused by poor standards of hygiene and sanitation at the resort.
The victims claimed that the food served to them in Butlins was undercooked, that little was done by the resort to protect any food being served from flies and that pigeons were freely allowed to walk on tabled that would later be used by diners.
The affected groups, including special-needs tourists from London, stated that there was a pungent smell of raw sewage in many areas of the resort, and that the swimming pool was not cleaned to an adequate standard, with the victims claiming that the water was “cloudy” and a slime contaminated the edges of the pool.
Bourne Leisure, Butlins’ parent group, has denied any claims that the holiday camp had neglected any aspects of hygiene or sanitation in the resort, stating the victim’s could have been contaminated by the norovirus anywhere and any claims against the camp lacked grounding and were merely speculative. A spokesperson has asserted that the company intend to continue to defend themselves against any claims made against them. Additionally, they claimed that they work closely with the Health and Safety Executive to ensure the highest standards of health and safety.
The norovirus bug is highly contagious and can lead to diarrhoea and vomiting in those unfortunate enough to be contaminated. The victims are usually affected for just a few days, but in this case, it resulted in the ruination of their holiday plans. There has yet to be a date set for the court hearing of the case against Butlins, but representatives for those affected has stated that if out-of-court negotiations fail, the victims will continue to seek compensation for their illnesses in court.