Pair win £13k after holiday sickness in Turkey

The Fergusons travelled  to Sarigerme in Turkey in 2009 and nearly five years later their ordeal is still causing health concerns. Picture: contributed
The Fergusons travelled to Sarigerme in Turkey in 2009 and nearly five years later their ordeal is still causing health concerns. Picture: contributed
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A COUPLE have won a payout of almost £13,000 after bouts of crippling sickness left them confined to their rooms and wrecked their dream family holiday.

Scott and Katrina Ferguson were among hundreds of holidaymakers struck down with illness while staying at the Holiday Village resort in Sarigerme, Turkey, which they visited in 2009 along with their children, Thomas and Taylor, then aged eight and five.

The notorious hotel featured on BBC’s Watchdog after a string of guests reported falling ill there, with some describing faeces in swimming pools, undercooked food and public toilets with no hot water.

However, after taking legal action, the couple won the cash from tour operator First Choice Holidays and Flights Limited – and are already planning their next break in the sun.

More than 400 holidaymakers suffered gastric illness while more than 100 caught infections including salmonella, cryptosporidium, campylobacter and E.coli during the outbreak.

Mrs Ferguson said she has never been the same since a sickness bug left her stuck in her room for days during the £3000 holiday and is still angry after staff at the resort told her the symptoms had been a one-off.

“My husband got unwell first, then me. I was in excruciating pain – I couldn’t leave the room,” the 43-year-old council worker, of Gilmerton, said. “When we asked reception for a pharmacy they said they hadn’t heard of any other guests being unwell. I just thought we were unlucky.

“Then I came home and saw Watchdog saying they’d had a lot of problems.

“I phoned up and I was told there were hundreds of other cases. I’d never had an upset stomach in my life until that holiday and I’ve never been right since.

“Even after the money, I wish I’d never gone.”

Although their children did not fall ill, Mr Ferguson, a 42-year-old taxi driver, and his wife last week received cheques of £6400 each.

“We’d saved up for it for quite a while, we’d been to Turkey before and we thought it would be brilliant for the kids,” Mrs Ferguson added.

“I didn’t think they’d ever pay or that it would come to anything. Now we’ll probably go on holiday again – but not back there.”

Suki Chhokar, a partner in legal firm Irwin Mitchell’s travel litigation team, said she was “delighted” after winning the £1.7 million settlement
at the High Court in London for the hundreds of guests who she said suffered “terrible times”.

She added: “Many of our clients suffered illnesses that continued after they returned home and some of our clients have still not made a complete recovery more than four years after their original illness commenced.”