Accidents Abroad

19-year-old woman who needed hospital treatment after being severely bitten by holiday hotel bedbugs awarded compensation

holiday injury claim
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Anne Thomson

Senior Litigation Executive

5 min read time

A 19-year-old woman had to seek hospital treatment after suffering severe bedbug bites at her holiday hotel accommodation.

A doctor told her he had never seen a case so bad and she had to be given antihistamine injections and antibiotics to help her recover.

The bites ruined the woman’s two-week trip to the resort of Hurghada in Egypt leaving her in pain and embarrassed.

The swelling and itching from the bedbug bites left her unable to sunbathe or fully enjoy her holiday due to the medication she had to take, and when she used the hotel pool she was asked if she had an infectious disease.

“The doctor was just shocked when he saw me, he said he had never seen so many bites on one person. It was just awful, I was crying on the phone to my mum and dad every night and the hotel didn’t move me until eight days later,” recalled the woman from West Yorkshire.

Her travel operator We Love Holidays Ltd denied any liability over the hotel bugs but Hudgell Solicitors, which represented her in the holiday injury claim, sought expert medical opinion. It concluded her bites were “too voluminous” to have been brought in on her own luggage.

Read more: Holiday Illness Abroad Claims

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Abbie, who wishes to use her first name only, flew from Manchester to join her grandparents at the Hotel Nubia Aqua Beach Resort in October 2018 for a break after experiencing a family bereavement.

She says although her room looked clean it “smelt foisty” but on her first night she thought little of it.

The next day she noticed she was covered in small red marks and bumps and when she mentioned it to the hotel reception staff they told her she must have been bitten by a mosquito. But over the next few days the number of bites increased and they began to swell, creating big, red, itchy lumps.

“It was just a nightmare. I could feel sharp pains and burning, and I just could not relax, especially as people began looking at me, making me feel self-conscious.

“Rubbing sun cream on was just unbearable, I would feel faint and sick. One woman even asked me if I had a disease and was she safe to go in the pool that I had just been in,” recalled Abbie.

She was advised to seek treatment at the Nile Hospital in Hurghada where she was prescribed antihistamine injections and antibiotics.

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Now aged 23 and working in the travel industry herself, she says she asked the hotel repeatedly to move her and to fumigate her room but it took eight days before she was given another in the same block as her grandparents. The bites, she says, stopped at once.

After flying home her grandparents witnessed the hotel fumigating the block that her old room was in. Two weeks the woman later contacted Hudgell Solicitors travel litigation team for advice.

Read more: Hotel Accidents Abroad Claims

Travel litigation executive Anne Thomson sought the advice of medical experts sharing with them Abbie’s photos, symptoms and treatment as part of the holiday accident claim.

“Bed bug cases are not always easy to prove. A hotel or travel company will argue that the bugs could have been brought into the hotel room on a client’s own luggage.

“However, on this occasion, the medical expert’s view was that the bites were too voluminous to have been brought into the room in her suitcase.

“Looking at the photos it is obvious she was severely bitten and was in some considerable discomfort and experiencing pain,” said Ms Thomson.

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Hudgell Solicitors alleged the tour operator failed to institute appropriate inspections to assess the hygiene, health and safety standards, that it failed to monitor these standards adequately or at all and exposed the woman to a foreseeable risk of injury; it was also alleged it failed to take reasonable care of her.

She was eventually awarded £2,500, despite the travel operator denying liability throughout. Most of her scarring from the bites has now healed although some are visible when in the sun.

Abbie said, “Anne has been brilliant throughout the whole case. It hasn’t put me off holidays, but now whenever I go into a room, I get a bit anxious and check the mattress and the bedding. I really wouldn’t want to go through that again.”

If you’ve recognised that you or a member of your family has come to harm as a result of an injury or illness abroad because of the actions, or lack of actions, of someone else, then you have the right to seek compensation.

The first step is to get in touch. You can begin by contacting us via our claim form and selecting Accidents & Illness Abroad.

Read more: Holiday Accident & Injury Abroad Compensation Claims

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