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Families take legal action against five-star luxury resort after food poisoning horror stories

Simon Calder’s Travel

A dad has told how he lost more than a stone in weight after being struck down with severe food poisoning at a five-star luxury resort.

Graham Lamont, 59, became unwell during a family holiday to celebrate his daughter finishing school at the Riu Palace Santa Maria, in Cape Verde.

But months later, the NHS training manager is still being treated by doctors and is now among ten claimants seeking a law suit against the resort due to illness.

Among them is also grieving widow, Sarah Tootell, 44, whose trip to the West African island to scatter her late husband’s ashes was wrecked when she became ill.

Graham’s wife, Josephine Black, 53, who is also part of the legal probe after becoming sick, said: “We’ve both needed time off work, but as I have started to improve, Graham has continued to struggle with illness.

“The amount of weight he’s lost is such a big concern now and doctors have taken a number of blood tests to discover more about his illness.

“This is the last thing you expect from a five-star holiday and we now wish we’d never been.

“We’ve spoken to others who fell ill at the same time and have seen terrible reports about this hotel since coming home.

“I just wish we’d seen some of these reviews before we left.”

Lorraine Wilson and Mark Bonner
Lorraine Wilson and Mark Bonner (Irwin Mitchell / SWNS)

Council worker Josephine said the couple, from Glasgow, had jetted off to the island for a week-long stay at the resort with their two kids on May 10.

The trip, booked through TUI, was a chance to celebrate their daughter Freya, 18, finishing school and to enjoy a final family break before she began university.

But it was not long before they began to suffer the effects of food poisoning at the same hotel where over 300 bouts have been reported since 2022.

On May 13, Josephine suffered severe stomach cramps and diarrhea while Graham fell ill with similar symptoms on May 16, just before they were due to return home.

He later lost more than 17lb in weight and remains ill to this day.

Josephine said: “This trip was booked as a special treat with Freya finishing school and as probably our last family holiday together before she starts university.

“We’ve never tried five-star or all-inclusive before and this seemed a perfect time. We couldn’t have been more wrong.

“I started to be sick a day into the holiday and I have never felt so ill in my life….

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