A British holidaymaker who claims to have been hospitalized after being hit by a suspected food poisoning outbreak at a five-star resort in Turkey has taken legal action over his ‘disastrous’ escape.
Liam Garnett, 37, was put on a drip after being stricken with suspected gastroenteritis while on holiday with his partner Gabrielle, 30, and two children over Easter.
And after returning to the UK, Mr Garnett required further treatment and had tests including abdominal and chest x-rays.
His two children, aged six and four, also suffered from symptoms such as diarrhea and vomiting, and one of them is still out of school due to illness.
Mr Garnett, a venue manager, is now one of dozens of holidaymakers considering legal action against holiday company TUI for the nightmarish holiday at the Rixos Sungate hotel.
Liam Garnett and his family were enjoying a family trip to Turkey when they fell ill
Mr Garnett claims that when his condition worsened he was put on an IV
Mr Garnett claims his son (pictured) was also sick with suspected food poisoning during the holiday
The Rixos Sungate (pictured) is a five-star resort in Turkey where families spend as much as £4,000 on TUI packages
He said, “It was terrible to be sick and to see my children suffer sick as well. The vacation was just a disaster and we want to know what went wrong.
“There were others in the same hotel who were also ill and I know they are also considering legal action as you don’t book a five star holiday expecting to spend most of your holiday in bed with illness.”
Mr Garnett said they had booked the family holiday after a rough spell at work, hoping it would be a nice relaxing break while the kids were out of school.
The 1,076-room resort in Kemer on Turkey’s southern coast features 11 restaurants, including a world food buffet and a sushi dinner.
It also has a water park and 12 swimming pools.
But within days of their dream vacation, the family was stricken with a mysterious illness, which had symptoms similar to acute gastroenteritis.
Mr Garnett says they have seen food served uncovered at the resort, while cutlery, crockery and tables were often dirty.
He claims there were cats in the restaurant and he saw cooks smoking in emergency exits and then not washing their hands – before handing out the food without gloves.
The father, from Manchester, added: ‘We booked the trip as it had been a tough time at work lately so we wanted to go somewhere nice for Easter.
“But a few days later I was suffering from a very serious illness, fever and stomach cramps and I was in my hotel room for most of the next five days.
“Now that I’m back home, I had to go back to work, but luckily I can work from home because I’m still sick.”
Liam Garnett, pictured, said he was sick and bedridden for 10 days
A number of families have been affected by diarrhoea, vomiting and fever. Pictured: Medicines taken by the families to relieve their symptoms
Rebecca Wright, pictured here with husband David Bracewell, also claims her 14-year-old stepdaughter was hospitalized after falling ill at the resort
Among those affected by the ‘disease’ was the Bracewell family of Lancashire, whose 14-year-old daughter Charlie was hospitalized for three days with gastroenteritis.
Rebecca Wright, her husband David Bracewell and children Charlie, Oliver, ten, and Indie, three, are now facing a £3,000 hospital bill.
said Mrs. Wright the sun that after a complaint to TUI, she received a message saying the hotel had told them it may not have been caused by food poisoning, but by “weather changes, especially day and night temperature differences, seasonal factors, especially allergic reactions.”
The 37-year-old labeled the response “laughable and unhelpful” and told the outlet: “I’m absolutely exhausted and felt so sick.
“Every day more people join. It’s laughable that they suggested it was the weather.
“I’m so worried about flying home. I left my room for two hours and had to go back to bed exhausted.
“We’re all terrified of the buffet. We all think it has to do with food or drink. Literally, ever since my stepdaughter got sick, we’ve been living off bananas.’
Lawyers for Irwin Mitchell are investigating legal action against the tour operator and say they expect the number of claims to grow rapidly.
Jatinder Paul, from the law firm, said several families had similar symptoms.
He said: ‘It is very concerning that several families at the same time, in the same resort, seem to be suffering from similar terrible symptoms of the disease.
‘Of course they want an answer to the question of how they became so ill during a five-star holiday.
“No one goes on vacation expecting to need medical treatment, either at the resort or even upon returning home.
“We will now be writing to their tour operator TUI UK Limited as we try to resolve the issues and find out what has gone wrong for the holidaymakers we represent.”
TUI describes the hotel as a ‘platinum’ location that is ‘tailor-made for families’.
The resort is rated 4.5 out of five stars on Tripadvisor.
A TUI spokesperson previously told MailOnline: “We are concerned about a small number of cases at Rixos Sungate in Turkey as the health and safety of our customers is our top priority.
‘Our team at the resort is in close contact with our guests and offers support where necessary.
“Our health and safety team is investigating in close collaboration with the hotel and we will be in regular contact with our guests.
“We want to reassure all customers that we regularly check all our hotels for health and safety, including hygiene.”
MailOnline has approached TUI and Accor, which operates the Rixos hotel group, for comment on Mr Garnett’s allegations.
A Tui spokesperson said they were “concerned” when they learned that customers at the Rixos Sungate resort in Turkey had fallen ill in April.
But they added that Liam Garnett and his family had now taken legal action and could not comment on their specific case.
They said: ‘We were very concerned about the low number of cases at Rixos Sungate in Turkey, as the health and safety of our customers is our top priority.
“We would like to reassure all customers that we regularly check all our hotels for health and safety, including hygiene.
“As this is now a legal matter, we cannot comment on the specific cases.”