Just Costs Solicitors has accused some of Britain’s largest tour operators of delaying compensation payments for holiday illness claims – even when ordered to do so by the Courts.
Citing a case called Linda Lavery & Leslie Lavery v TUI UK Limited, Just Costs has revealed that enforcement officers from the High Court Enforcement Group had to be instructed after the judgment debt was not paid on time, despite being chased.
Just Costs has said that the fact that only the threat of bailiffs forced Thomson to eventually pay the holiday illness claim showed the contempt that many large tour operators had for the legal process.
“We are not talking about disputed claims here,” said Simon Sharpe, head of holiday claims at Just Costs Solicitors.
“Tour operators are totally within their rights to deny liability and run cases to court. But they are not within their rights to ignore court orders when they lose cases.
“It is absolutely right for solicitors, and the industry generally, to adopt a zero-tolerance approach to fraudulent or exaggerated claims. Solicitors want to stamp out fraudulent claims just as much as the tour operators.
“We are now calling for the same zero-tolerance approach to be taken against tour operators who show total distain for the legal process. They should be named and shamed so that people can make an informed choice before they book their next holiday.”
Andrew McKie, a barrister at Clerksroom and a director at Barrister-Direct, specialising in holiday illness claims, said: “Tour operators have lost the moral high ground as a result of their conduct.
“Where damages or costs are awarded, tour operators should meet their obligations and pay in accordance with the court order.
“This is clearly not in the claimant’s best interests where the tour operator has gone to trial and lost.”