Child Bacterial Infection: Holiday France Kids Camp Compensation Claim

How to claim compensation for a campylobacter bacterial infection whilst on holiday in France

Holiday bacterial infection victim question

Whilst on holiday in France my 7 year old contracted campylobacter which is a form of bacterial poisoning. It was later discovered that he had caught this from one of the other children he was sharing a paddling pool with at the kids club. As a result he was severely ill with food poisoning symptoms, causing great distress to my son and the rest of the family. We then had to cut our holiday short losing hundreds of pounds. Can I claim compensation for the distress caused and money lost even though he has no lasting symptoms? If so was it the kids club to blame or the parent of the child who passed on the infection?

Personal injury solicitor response

There are a number of factors, which must be considered to determine if you have a claim for your child whilst on holiday in France, including:

1. Look at the holiday insurance cover you have in place. This holiday insurance cover might pay out for this type of injury or the loss of part of your holiday.

Even if that insurance policy does not pay out for an accident – it is very likely you will have legal protection cover, which will pay for a UK solicitor or English speaking French lawyer to help you make a claim.

2. If you were travelling as part of a package holiday and the kids club was arranged as part of that holiday then the Package Holiday Regulations would apply, which would therefore allow a claim to be considered in the UK and standards expectant in the UK could be applied.

If your holiday was not part of a package – the law of the land, namely French law, would apply and you would need to speak to a French lawyer to assess your claim.

3. In English law – I would say that the parent of the child is certainly not liable. Parents are not medical experts and would expect that a child taken to a kids camp would be looked after appropriately no matter how ill that child was.  

4. Assuming that the holiday club was arranged as part of a package holiday: In my view – it is possible that the kids camp might be considered responsible.   Campylobacter bacteria – is the most common bacteria, which leads to food poisoning. Faeces or urine in the paddling pool water can allow the bacteria to be ingested by another child and reach the digestive system.

It is clearly foreseeable that young children will go to the toilet in a paddling pool and as such that pool should have been properly treated with chemicals, like chlorine, to kill unwanted bacteria and ensure children are not infected from one to another.

If the kids club cannot demonstrate that a proper system was in place to keep the water clean – it is likely that a claim would be under the Package Holiday Regulations  against the tour operator who organised the package holiday on your behalf.

Click food poisoning claim to see how much compensation you can receive for an injury to your digestive system as a result of bacterial infection.

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