Holiday Firm ‘breached duty of care’

An inquest jury has found that Thomas Cook was in breach of their “duty of care” after two children died from carbon monoxide poisoning while on holiday with their parents in Corfu in 2006.

The family was staying in accommodation provided by the holiday firm through a package holiday when a faulty hot water boiler produced fumes which overcame the family, resulting in the children’s deaths.

A separate criminal trial was held in Greece in 2010 and three people, including the manager of the hotel and two members of staff, were found guilty of manslaughter by negligence and sentenced to seven years. Eight other people were cleared, including two Thomas Cook travel reps.

This tragic event could have been avoided had the firm operated effective health and safety systems which would have identified the faulty hot water boiler. Indeed, in reaching the verdict of “unlawful killing”, the foreman of the inquest jury read out a series of conclusions which included reference to the inadequacy of Thomas Cook’s health and safety audit.

Ellis Whittam clients with any questions or concerns should speak to their dedicated Health & Safety Consultant.

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