UK tourist who inhaled toxic insecticide in DR set for payout by TUI - A British tourist whose dream holiday was ruined after she inhaled insecticide spray at a five-star hotel is set to get a payout. Brenda Cathcart was on a luxury holiday in the Dominican Republic when she suffered a severe reaction to chemicals that were sprayed in her room to keep bugs at bay.


The 64-year-old had paid more than £1,000 for her Thomson holiday to the Cayocoa Hotel with her husband Allan when she was struck down by the toxic substance.


The nursing home supervisor noticed a strange smell when she first entered her room and immediately felt a burning sensation at the back of her nose. Her eyes also started to stream and burn, her voice became hoarse and she had difficulty breathing and talking.


The symptoms persisted and Brenda was left with itching and burning eyes, a persistent cough, difficulty breathing, a prickly and numb sensation on her tongue and dizziness.


She experienced permanent damage as a result of the chemicals and still finds herself struggling to speak, even though the holiday was taken back in February 2011. 


Allan also suffered symptoms but they were not as severe and subsided after a short time.

Brenda, from Salisbury, in Wiltshire, branded her treatment at the hotel as 'disgraceful', saying both the hotel and tour operator failed to take their issues seriously.


However, TUI, the parent company of Thomson Holidays, has now admitted responsibility for the incident, paving the way for a settlement.


Brenda said: 'Since the holiday, I am still experiencing some on-going symptoms, particularly with the hoarseness of my voice, and I sometimes lose my voice whilst speaking to people. 


'It’s very frustrating but there’s nothing I can do.

'Following assessments with an ear, nose and throat specialist they confirmed that my throat has been damaged permanently by the inhalation of the insecticide and this is why I keep losing my voice.' 


She added: 'Allan and I feel really let down by the incident at the Cayocoa Hotel - neither the hotel staff nor Thomson’s staff made sufficient arrangements for us when our symptoms first developed. 


'The attitudes of the tour representative and hotel manager were disgraceful and we were made to feel as if we were being a nuisance. I certainly won’t be travelling to this hotel again.'


The couple visited a local doctor who confirmed a diagnosis of intoxication of pesticide, and prescribed Brenda tablets. 

But her symptoms continued and later in the day she was given an antihistamine injection. 

On her return home to the UK she went to her own GP, who referred her to the London College of Toxicology and an ear, nose and throat specialist for further treatment.


Brenda instructed travel lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to take action against TUI and the firm is now working to secure a settlement for Brenda, who still struggles to breathe as a result of inhaling the insecticide. 


Amandeep Dhillon, a travel lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, said: 'This is an important step in the case as we have successfully secured an admission of liability from Thomson, and we will now work to secure justice for Brenda who is still suffering from serious symptoms over three years on.'


Brenda added: 'I am relieved that Thomson Holidays has admitted liability and we are looking forward to putting the incident behind us once we have justice so I can concentrate on continuing with my recovery.'

1000's of tourists receive compensation from travel illnesses after visiting Dominican Republic(update 6)

Go back | Date: 10 Jun 2014
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