Burnley family’s compensation victory after holiday from hell in Bulgaria

Neil, Amy and Jane Killlin who have been awarded damages from Thompson over their holiday to Bulgaria five years ago. A010311/4

Neil, Amy and Jane Killlin who have been awarded damages from Thompson over their holiday to Bulgaria five years ago. A010311/4

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A BURNLEY family is still suffering five years after a dream holiday turned into a nightmare.

Neil and Jane Killin, and children Amy and Lucy, suffered a terrifying and debilitating illness during their week-long holiday to Bulgaria in 2006.

But for Jane (50) her holiday nightmare has never ended – the stress and food poisoning she suffered at their hotel has led to her contracting the bowel condition ulcerative colitis as well as arthritis, meaning she is at times confined to a wheelchair.

The outbreak which struck at the four-star Riu Miramar Hotel in Obzor saw the family hit by severe stomach cramps, sickness and diarrhoea after a burst dam caused raw sewage to sweep through the hotel.

They are now celebrating a long overdue victory with 134 other holiday-makers after a judge confirmed travel giant TUI UK Ltd was responsible for their suffering.

Neil and Jane, of Hollingreave Road, slammed tour operator Thomson, a subsidiary of TUI, claiming it “put profit before people”.

Jane said: “This holiday has ruined my life. Before we went I was a fit, healthy, confident woman with my own business. Now, I am on heavy medication and still in terrible pain.”

Neil (45), who runs his own electronics company, said Amy (22) was sick on their first day at the hotel although Lucy (19) was the least affected.

He said: “We knew from the Trip Advisor website there were problems at the hotel before we went but Thomson assured us it had sent its own health inspectors who had cleared the hotel.

“However, when we arrived, the hotel was disgusting – you could smell the sewage. The water was switched off twice, tables weren’t cleaned up properly, food was uncovered and the pool was filthy. It was just horrific.”

Mr Killin has agreed a compensation figure but the other family members have still to be assessed. Each will be compensated dependent on the severity and longevity of their illness. Payouts to other holidaymakers have ranged between £1,000 and £17,000.

The group’s legal team, Irwin Mitchell, said the decision meant justice at last for those victims.

There’s more on this story in today’s Express