|Dominican Watchdog Note:
Hundreds and hundreds of holidaymakers have won various compensation class a lawsuits close to USD 10 million after they fell ill while staying at different hotels in the Dominican Republic. We have listed some cases here.
The big cases might at first look old, but remember it took 5 years of legal battles to reach the settlement. We can assume that there are other cases from 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010. That we will hear about in 2011, 2012, 2013 and onwards.
500 tourists will receive compensation from Salmonella in Dominican Republic
Hundreds of holidaymakers, including honeymooners, have won compensation totalling more than £2.5million after they fell ill when sent to a dirty Caribbean hotel.
Thomas Cook and its subsidiary MyTravel have been forced to pay one of the biggest compensation sums ever made following a landmark class action legal case.
More than 500 tourists will receive compensation after their holidays were ruined by a major outbreak of illnesses including Shigella and Salmonella at a Dominican Republic hotel.
Holiday companies continued to send UK families to the four star resort, the Bahia Principe hotel, in 2007 despite the fact that a succession of travellers contracted serious illnesses.
The case included 12 couples whose honeymoons were ruined by sickness.
The 514 strong group all fell ill while at the hotel in San Juan with a range of illnesses including Shigella, Giardia, Salmonella and E Coli.
Many of them needed medical treatment, 29 were hospitalised - five after they got back to the UK - and more than 200 still suffer long-term effects two years after flying home.
The problems at the Bahia Principe Hotel - which has a history of illness among guests - began in early 2007 and continued throughout most of the year as more guests arrived from the UK.
The Dominican Republic Minister for Public Health, Bautista Rojas, confirmed in August that year that tourists had become ill due to contaminated foodstuffs.
As the problems mounted and more UK travellers fell ill, one plane flying back from the Dominican Republic was quarantined at Gatwick while another landing at the same airport was boarded by doctors.
Other Bahia Principe guests landing at Manchester needed treatment from doctors on the plane before they could disembark.
The travellers were represented by solicitors Irwin Mitchell. Head of the firm's travel litigation team, Clive Garner, said: 'This was an astonishing outbreak at a hotel which should have offered its guests a dream holiday in the Caribbean.
'It was a comedy of errors from start to finish but one which wasn't funny for anyone caught up in it.'
He said: 'The scene at the time was horrendous. Day after day, fleets of ambulances were ferrying people to hospital and yet still tour operators carried on flying people out there.
'There was a flagrant disregard for their customers' health and safety and every single tour operator in the UK needs to look at what happened to make sure something like this can never happen again.
'It beggars belief to think that so many people can fall ill at one hotel without the issue being resolved and it's a shocking example of how not to treat your customers.'
Thomas Cook and MyTravel decided to settle the compensation claim before it reached court. However, other tour operators who used the hotel have yet to do the same thing.
Irwin Mitchell is acting for a further 419 clients who travelled to the Bahia Principe with the tour operator First Choice.
Mr Garner said: 'Our clients suffered quite enough when they were caught up in all of this on their holiday in 2007, although many are still suffering the after effects even now and may well do for the rest of their lives.
'This settlement will at least go some way to helping them put it behind them but it's hugely disappointing that First Choice are continuing to drag their heels with the settlement of claims by their customers.
'Those people also deserve to receive fair compensation for their illnesses and for the shocking service they received two years ago.'
The problems at the Bahia Principe in 2007 followed a series of outbreaks at the hotel in previous years.
Irwin Mitchell acted for more than 100 guests who fell ill there in 1997 and has also dealt with clients who stayed at the hotel in 2004, 2005 and 2006, as well as for guests who fell ill in 2008.
Thomas Cook said it insists on high standards at its partner hotels.
A spokesman said: 'We take all reports of illness very seriously and we were very concerned by the outbreak of sickness that took place at the Bahia Principe in 2007.
'We are pleased that the majority of legal cases have now been settled and we want to be able to reassure all our customers that we work with our hotel partners to continually monitor the hygiene standards in their properties.'
Other legal cases after holidays in the Dominican Republic:
Woman_files_lawsuit_over_carbon_monoxide_posioning_at_Barcelo_hotel_Puerto_Plata after friend died......read more
Another UK Couple in legal action over Dominican "all inclisive luxury" holiday.... read more
Honeymoon couple's holiday from hell in the DR - A couple have told of their heartbreak after their dream honeymoon became a holiday from hell when the groom was rushed to hospital with dysentery.... read more
Medra Fetal Stem Cell in Dominican Republic is a Medical Scam - The BBC went undercover and filmed Dr William C Rader in his Dominican location. There are 4 parts on YouTube. A must watch for anyone considering wiring $30,000 to a offshore bank in the Bahamas.....read more
Read also: USAtoday - Challenges of Tourism in the Dominican Republic
Be careful when buying medicine in the Dominican Republic
Read also related article about how to avoid the problems: High-risk destinations (attack rates of up to 60% during the first 2 weeks) include Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Haiti