Published on Wednesday, August 28, 2019

TUI pays five-figure sum to holidaymaker seriously hurt in hotel fall

A mum who suffered serious brain and spinal injuries when she fell from an unguarded staircase on holiday has received a five-figure interim payment from TUI to help fund part of her 'vital' rehabilitation.

Wendy Brown, 55, had claimed £200,000 in damages after falling from the staircase while returning to her room at La Palma & Teneguia Princess Hotel, in January 2018.

Mrs Brown and husband Gary were three days into their holiday when the accident happened.

Mr Brown initially thought his wife had died, as she was unresponsive and bleeding when he went to her aid.

She was taken to hospital in Tenerife where she spent several weeks in an induced coma before being flown back to the UK, for further hospital treatment lasting several months.

Nineteen months later, she needs an extensive rehabilitation programme, according to Irwin Mitchell's specialist International Serious Injury team, which issued court proceedings to claim damages against TUI.

TUI denied responsibility, but the operator has now agreed the five-figure interim payment to help fund initial important care.

In court papers, TUI said the path was lit at the time of the accident, the edge was protected by raised edging stone, and a thickly planted border of up to 80cm high.

TUI added Mrs Brown must have stepped over a series of edging stones, through plants and over some coping stones and that she must have failed to take enough care to stay on the pathway.

TUI's defence states: "It is denied that the use of the steps, pathways and terraces posed the alleged or any hazard to hotel guests when used in ordinary conditions or in any conditions other than the most extraordinary."

The payout has been made without admission of liability.

Cheryl Palmer-Hughes, legal expert at Irwin Mitchell who is acting for the family, said: "Wendy suffered terrible injuries in the fall, which continue to have a significant impact on her and the rest of her family.

"While the interim payment is hugely welcome, it has been made without an admission of liability and this raises concerns about Wendy's future support which we will continue to push for.

"Wendy continues to face significant challenges to try and overcome her injuries the best she can and faces many months, if not years, of rehabilitation.

"We urge TUI to work with ourselves and the family to progress Wendy's case as quickly as possible and avoid delays in her accessing the vital rehabilitation she needs."

TUI told TravelMole: "As this is subject to legal proceedings it would be inappropriate to comment."

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  • Insurance issues

    I totally agree, Mr Coulter. A tragic accident but everything cannot be blamed on the tour company.

    By SELINA LUTJEBOER, Wednesday, August 28, 2019

  • Liability issues

    This is an absolute tragic accident for the family but as TUI point out...." the path was lit at the time of the accident, the edge was protected by raised edging stone, and a thickly planted border of up to 80cm high." I am sorry but I have difficulty in seeing why TUI can be thought to be liable. The article does not state if the hotel was owned by TUI but if the hotel was not owned by TUI then again I state I cannot understand why it is thought that TUI should be responsible.. The path was lit, had edging and an 80cm hedge. Surely this is an insurance issue with the clients insurance company. When I read of these types of claims against a tour operator I simply cannot understand why anyone would think that the tour operator is liable. Would anyone consider a car manufacturer liable when a driver drives off a road and crashes ? Again it is a very sad tragedy however a tour operator cannot surely be liable for every accident that occurs to one of their clients when it is totally outside of the tour operators control ?

    By Ken COULTER, Wednesday, August 28, 2019

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