Thompsons Solicitors has secured compensation for a teacher who contracted salmonella while honeymooning in Antigua.

Paul Brown and his wife decided to celebrate their wedding by taking a trip to the Grand Pineapple Resort in Antigua. The holiday was booked as an all-inclusive package with TUI UK, but within a few days of arriving at the resort Paul began to feel ill, experiencing stomach cramps, fever, nausea and diarrhoea.

Paul had contracted acute salmonella poisoning as a result of eating contaminated food at the Grand Pineapple Resort, which meant that he was in bed for eight days of the 12-day holiday.

The hotelier apologised to Paul immediately and offered compensation of $1,800 (£1,166 GBP) directly. However, Paul wanted to contact his doctor in the UK and make sure that there were no long term implications before accepting any offer of compensation payment.

On returning home Paul took the issue up with the travel agent who booked the holiday, but TUI UK denied any responsibility for the illness and proposed no settlement offer.

After months of trying to secure a settlement from TUI UK, Paul contacted his trade union, the National Union of Teachers (NUT), who instructed Thompsons Solicitors to investigate a claim of compensation on its member’s behalf.

Thompsons obtained independent medical evidence that confirmed Paul had, beyond doubt, contracted the potentially fatal food poisoning from the hotel. After negotiations with Thompsons, the booking agent admitted liability and a settlement of £4,000 was ultimately agreed.

Paul said: “Antigua is a beautiful island of white sandy beaches and we were so excited to have this holiday of a lifetime. Unfortunately the experience was very different to what we had hoped, and all because of my illness. Before I was put in touch with Thompsons, dealing with the booking agent was like banging my head against a wall as I was passed from one person to the next and didn’t understand what was happening with my case.

“Without the legal weight and expertise from Thompsons and the NUT, I’m certain I wouldn’t have been properly compensated for what happened to me.”

Clive Romain, from the National Union of Teachers, said: “Salmonella can be deadly if left untreated and the seriousness of the illness Paul suffered should not be underestimated. As a member of the NUT, Paul not only got expert legal help but he got 100% of the compensation secured for him without having to pay any legal costs.”

Martin Gwyther, from Thompsons Solicitors, said: “This case is a classic example of an organisation that tried to deny liability when it ought to have accepted it, having tried to under-settle it when Paul didn’t have specialist legal advice. When Paul came to us, we ensured medical evidence was obtained and that he was awarded fair and proportionate compensation for the illness he suffered on of all holidays, his honeymoon.

“Thompsons’ specialist travel litigation department is there to assist people injured abroad. With trade union backing the clients also get all the compensation awarded, unlike high street law firms who are usually non-specialist and take a cut of any compensation.”