Hundreds of holidaymaker sue Butlin’s in Bognor Regis

MORE than 200 holidaymakers are suing Butlin’s after they say they became ill at its Bognor Regis site.

Specialist lawyers have launched legal action against the holiday company in relation to three alleged outbreaks of illness at the resort.

The clients of law firm Irwin Mitchell include members of the Ealing Handicapped Irish Dancers and Mencap Hillingdon North. Their annual group holidays in May and June 2011 were said to have been devastated.

They claim the food was sometimes undercooked, it was left uncovered, hot food was seen being mixed with existing food and flies were seen on and around the food at times.

Among those in the legal action is Alison Hill, 55, a group leader of Mencap Hillingdon North who visited the site for five days with seven other volunteers and the group’s 21 members.

She said: “When one of our group members became ill, I complained to the resort staff but was then seen privately by a manager who asked me not tell the other guests about the illness and also asked if the party could leave early. We were stunned.

“Having to return earlier than planned caused major disruption, as day-to-day carers for some of our members were on holiday themselves and did not expect us to be returning early.”

The group’s members and helpers had been put off going on another overnight visit since, she said, because of the emotional and physical distress they claim to have suffered.

Other complainants among the 215 affected include healthcare assistant Amy Denny, 24, from Northampton, who also returned home early from her break at the resort with her partner, Philip, and sons Bailey and Finley.

She said: “My youngest son, Bailey, was only 18 months old at the time and we had to take him to hospital as we were so scared about the effect that the illness had on him.

“It is so upsetting that it was our first holiday together as a family and it has scarred them for life.”

A spokesman for Butlin’s said: “We will robustly defend this speculative action raised at the High Court in Birmingham.

“We operate our resorts to the highest health and safety standards and work closely with the Health and Safety Executive to ensure that our guests’ safety takes priority.

“Our standards of cleanliness and hygiene are recognised throughout the tourist industry worldwide.

“Such is our reputation on health issues that environmental officers from around the UK have described our policies and procedures as outstanding.”