Canadian couple sue over ‘holiday poisoning nightmare’ on dream trip to Dominican Republic
couple are suing a travel operator after claiming their luxury holiday was ruined when they fell ill with chemical poisoning.

Aaron Rigby, 30, and partner Jessica Mann, 20, were struck down with rashes on their legs just days into their dream £1,600 two-week break in the Dominican Republic.

Doctors at the Sirenis Cocotal Hotel told them they had been bitten by mosquitoes and they would recover quickly after they became sick in May.

But when they returned to Manchester still feeling unwell they went to Stockport’s Stepping Hill Hospital and were referred to its tropical diseases unit. Medics carried out tests and the couple were stunned to be diagnosed with serious chemical poisoning.

Lawyers for the couple said they had been told by doctors at Stepping Hill that their illness was probably caused by the swimming pool because they had a water-borne infection.

Aaron, an engineer from Stockport, and student Jessica, who lives in Salford, complained to tour operator Thomas Cook but told the M.E.N. they don’t believe they were taken seriously enough. They then consulted Manchester solicitors Irwin Mitchell and the firm is now pursuing a bid for compensation on their behalf.

Aaron said: “Our holiday was completely ruined by these problems but our primary concern is that this could happen to other people, including families with children.

“We’d been told it was linked to mosquitoes when we went for help at the resort and that there was nothing we could do. So we were shocked and scared to learn that it was more likely to be caused by chemicals in the pool.

“There were also other holidaymakers, including children, using the pool all through the time we were there. We believe up to ten other families may have been affected and I can’t help but think that future holidaymakers should be warned.”

Aaron and Jessica were given steroid treatment, as well as painkillers, antihistamines and anti-inflammatory medication, but continue to suffer with symptoms around three months after the holiday.

Cheryl Palmer-Hughes, the solicitor and travel law expert at Irwin Mitchell who is dealing with the case, said: “Jessica and Aaron’s story is every holidaymaker’s worst nightmare – suffering serious injury just days into a dream break which not only ruins their trip but also continues to impact on their health for a long time afterwards.

“We are demanding answers over how these problems emerged and what Thomas Cook is doing to ensure no one else suffers.”

A spokesman for Thomas Cook said: “It is always disappointing for anyone to be unwell whilst they are on holiday, and we always take any reports of illness from our customers seriously. We are currently undertaking a review of Mr Rigby and Ms Mann’s case and are waiting to hear from their solicitor with more information.”




Read also: 1000's of tourists receive compensation from travel illnesses after visiting Dominican Republic

Go back | Date: 14 Sep 2011
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