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Woman who fell through glass window on holiday secures compensation

A woman who suffered serious injuries on holiday in Cyprus has been awarded compensation at trial due to failings from the hotel and English tour operator.

Posted on 12 October 2022

The woman, who we will call Sarah, was involved in an accident at the Corallia Beach Hotel Apartments in Cyprus in 2017. She stumbled while descending a steep disabled access ramp at the property in the early hours of the morning and collided with a pane of glass.

Sarah stumbled forwards and collided with a glass window positioned at the bottom of the ramp. The glass window was not made from reinforced or shatterproof glass, and when attempting to brace her fall, her arm went through the window.

The injuries sustained were serious, and Sarah lacerated two tendons in the wrist which required immediate surgery. She then underwent a second surgery some months later to remove small shards of glass in the arm. This left her with permanent scarring to the arm and wrist, in addition to permanent weakness and perceived stiffness.

As the holiday had been booked as a package arrangement, Sarah was able to bring a claim against the English tour operator under the Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992 (now, ‘The Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018’).

Leigh Day solicitors argued that Sarah was exposed to a foreseeable risk of injury during the course of her package holiday supplied by an English tour operator. The hotel breached local safety standards as the ramp was particularly steep and had a gradient of 24 per cent, despite regulations in Cyprus that require some access ramps not to exceed a gradient of 6.66 per cent.

The Defendant denied liability for this accident, however the Leigh Day travel team pursued the case to trial arguing the accident happened because of an obvious and foreseeable risk which the hotel had failed to mitigate.

The parties obtained expert evidence on Cypriot local standards. Sarah obtained evidence from a Cypriot lawyer, and the Defendant obtained evidence from an English Engineer.

The Court found that the glass window, positioned at the bottom of a steep ramp which exceeded guidelines in Cyprus, was a breach of the local standard in Cyprus. The tour operator had an obligation to ensure that the Hotel were complying with the relevant local standards in Cyprus, otherwise they would be in breach of an implied term of the holiday contract, namely that the holiday would be supplied with reasonable care and skill under the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982.

Caitlin Dunn, Chartered Legal Executive in the travel team at Leigh Day, represented Sarah in her claim. Caitlin said:

“The outcome of this case reinforces that tour operators should be held accountable for the shortcomings of the Hotels and suppliers who they engage with for the purpose of selling holidays to consumers.

“There is an obligation for the tour operator to ensure that the Hotel is complying with the health and safety standards in the country where they are offering services, and to ensure that holidaymakers who purchase holidays from them, enjoy their holiday without the risk of injury.”

Caitlin Wood
Travel claims

Caitlin Wood

Caitlin is an associate in the personal injury department

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