Following the Inquest earlier this year into the tragic deaths of Christi and Bobby Shepherd from Carbon Monoxide poisoning caused by a faulty boiler in their holiday accommodation in Corfu, HM Coroner Mr David Hinchcliff has called on Government Ministers to draft, instigate and implement EU legislation on gas installations and Carbon Monoxide.

The Coroner also called upon Thomas Cook, who he found to be in breach of its duty of care to the Shepherd family, to be at the forefront of holiday industry safety improvements.

Whilst such EU wide safety standards do not yet exist, UK holidaymakers might nonetheless be able to bring a claim for compensation for injuries and losses sustained if they have booked a foreign holiday in the UK.

In certain circumstances, a claim can be brought against the tour operator, rather than against one or more different suppliers such as the hotel, transport provider or other body through whose negligence it is alleged the injury was caused. The claim can be brought in the UK rather than in the country where the incident occurred, making the claim potentially easier and cheaper to pursue.

Before making a claim, it is essential to establish whether the package holiday falls within the relevant Regulations . This means that it must include a pre-arranged combination of at least two of the following components: transport, accommodation and other tourist services not ancillary to transport or accommodation and accounting for a significant proportion of the package (such as a tour guide).

Traditional package holidays advertised in brochures are covered, but the definition might also include tailor-made holidays, or ‘DIY’ or ‘dynamic’ packages, where separate components have been selected but booked as a package. It is, however, important to seek specialist legal advice if you wish to pursue such a claim.

For advice and assistance with your claim, contact Bernadette Mackie on 01562 820575 or bmackie@thursfields.co.uk

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