Top travel law firm reveals previous cover-up at Steigenberger Aqua Magic Hotel

30 August 2018

A leading travel lawyer has revealed that concerns had previously been raised with Thomas Cook about health and safety procedures at the Steigenberger Aqua Magic Hotel in Hurghada, just days after the tragic deaths of John and Susan Cooper last week.

The hotel found itself at the centre of a media storm this weekend following the sudden deaths of Mr and Mrs Cooper, who were on holiday with their daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren. Speculation has been rife, with several potential causes being investigated. The authorities in Egypt have so far insisted that the cause of death was respiratory failure, with no evidence to suggest otherwise. However, given that the Coopers were a fit and healthy couple who were perfectly well only hours earlier, fears of a cover-up are rising.

The last seven days has also seen at least 40 people struck down with food poisoning at the hotel, with Thomas Cook eventually evacuating 300 guests.

Leading law firm JMW Solicitors represented a family of four, who suffered gastric illness while staying at the Steigenberger Aqua Magic Hotel in 2016 and had also booked their holiday with Thomas Cook. Liability was initially denied, leading to JMW issuing court proceedings on the case and, as per the process, was in return sent numerous disclosure documents, some of which were temperature logs and cleaning records.

The team noticed that it appeared that several temperature logs had been written by one person on different dates, yet four different people signed next to each entry to verify the temperature, calling into question the record keeping. The firm commissioned a forensic handwriting expert report, which confirmed beyond reasonable doubt that the logs had all been completed by the same person.

JMW was able to rely on this report as part of the evidence supporting the family’s claims. Thomas Cook did not seek to challenge the content of the report, and in light of this the Court entered judgement for the family. The family still had to attend trial and be cross examined to prove the extent of their illness, and, following a trial, the case against the hotel was won.

Joanne Brine, Partner at JMW Solicitors, said: “It’s very sad to hear of the deaths of John and Susan Cooper on what should have been a happy family holiday, yet also incredibly concerning given our experience with this hotel in regards to hygiene standards. The fact that we have brought concerns to Thomas Cook’s attention about the accuracy and reliability of the Steigenberger Aqua Magic Hotel’s record keeping should set off alarm bells for those investigating what the failings of the management team to safeguard the health of its guests may have been on this occasion.

She continued: “Generally speaking, we have seen an increase in concerns about the accuracy of record keeping but there are ways and means to prove such misinformation. I sincerely hope that a thorough investigation will make sure that the family get the answers they need to understand exactly what happened inside that hotel room and to ensure the safety of future holiday makers is prioritised.”

-ends-

For more information

Danielle Gibson

0161 828 8349

07881 706 975

danielle.gibson@jmw.co.uk

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