Sale of Goods Law Provides Route to Compensation for Holidaymakers

An interesting use of the law relating to the sale of goods recently helped a couple whose all-inclusive holiday was ruined by gastroenteritis to obtain compensation from travel group First Choice.

They claimed damages under the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982 on the ground that the food they ate which made them ill constituted 'goods' which were transferred from the hotel to them and which were not of satisfactory quality, being contaminated.

Normally, such claims are brought under the Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992 based on the negligence of the tour operator's agent (i.e. the hotel).

The reason the case was brought under sale of goods law was that there was extensive evidence of the steps taken by the hotel concerned to comply with high hygiene standards and the measures taken were such that it would have proved very difficult to hold the hotel at fault so as to succeed in a claim under the Regulations.

The case went to the Court of Appeal, which ruled that '...in the absence of any express agreement to the contrary, when customers order a meal property in the meal transfers to them when it is served'.

The claimants were awarded damages of £24,000. If you have been injured or developed an illness whilst on holiday, you could be entitled to compensation if this occurred as a result of poor maintenance or hygiene. Do try to obtain as much contemporary evidence as possible (photographs and witness statements from other holidaymakers can be very useful).

We can advise you how to claim depending on the circumstances.

Posted by Peter Nicholas on Monday, August 14, 2017 at 10:55 AM