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Published on Thursday, October 11, 2018

Sousse terror attack victims launch formal court proceedings against TUI UK

British victims of the 2015 terrorist attack in Tunisia have served formal court proceedings on their tour operator, TUI UK.

More than 80 people including families who lost loved ones and those left with injuries following the attack Sousse on June 26 2015 have instructed personal injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to commence court proceedings on their behalf. 

Irwin Mitchell is representing the families of 22 people who died in the attack as well as more than 50 people who suffered injuries including gunshot wounds and people hit by shrapnel from explosions at the Imperial Marhaba Hotel.

Others sustained ruptured tendons and leg and feet injuries while fleeing the attacker while many are still suffering psychological trauma.

Irwin Mitchell said the legal case centres on security at the hotel; what was known about previous attacks in Tunisia and the lack of information presented to customers both at the time of booking and when the situation may have changed regarding travel advice.

The law firm said many of the families affected were unaware of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) travel advice that there was a 'high threat from terrorism' in Tunisia.

It added that neither TUI's 2015 written brochure or its 2015 website informed them of the content of the FCO travel advice before they booked their holidays and points to last-years seven-week inquest last year into the deaths of 30 Britons who died in the attack, which heard hotel security guards were poorly trained, ineffective and unable to communicate with each other.

The inquest also heard there was limited CCTV coverage, inadequate security measures and no protocol in place to be followed in the event of a terrorist attack.

Irwin Mitchell senior associate solicitor Kylie Hutchison said: "On behalf of our clients who lost members of their families and those who suffered injuries in this terrible incident, we have now served formal civil proceedings on TUI claiming damages.

"The damages claimed will help compensate them for their suffering, their financial losses and help survivors meet the costs of specialist treatments and therapies to aid their recoveries.

"The level of terrorist threat in Tunisia had been escalating for some time prior to June 2015. This included a failed suicide bomb attempt outside a beach hotel in Sousse in October 2013 and an attack at the Bardo museum in Tunis in March 2015 in which 22 people were killed.

"Despite this TUI, the tour operator that organised the holidays and was responsible for our clients' safety, did not audit the adequacy of security at the hotel or take appropriate precautions to keep our clients safe from an attack.

"Nor did they inform our clients of the level of threat of terrorism which many of the holidaymakers say would have changed their mind about holidaying in Tunisia at the time."

One survivor, Mat James, 33, from Pontypridd, Wales, who was shot multiple times while protecting his girlfriend, said: "We can never forget what happened and I'm lucky to be alive, but hopefully by taking legal action everyone involved can get the help and support we need to aid our recoveries as much as possible."

TUI said it remains saddened by the attack.

It added: "Our thoughts remain with all of those who were affected by the horrific incident. As this is now subject to legal proceedings it would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage except to say we will fully cooperate with the judicial process."


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