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Fake Claim - Caught Out

A BRITISH couple who made a fake sickness claim while on holiday in the Canary Islands have been ordered to pay thousands of pounds to Thomas Cook in compensation.


The ruling by the judge at Liverpool County Court serves as a warning to other holidaymakers who are thinking of making bogus claims on all-inclusive holidays.

Thomas Cook said it successfully defended itself in court after a family attempted to claim a pay-out worth up to £10,000 for food poisoning on an all-inclusive break in the Canary Islands.

The judge dismissed the case on Monday after concluding they were not sick, according to the firm, and the pair were ordered to pay Thomas Cook £3,744 compensation within 28 days.

The compensation ruling is a legal first for holiday sickness claims, because county courts can only award costs if the claimant has been found to be dishonest.

Thomas Cook said Julie Lavelle, 33, her partner Michael McIntyre, 34, and their two young children issued a claim for damages stating that they suffered gastroenteritis on the third day of a two-week holiday as a result of poor food hygiene at their hotel on Gran Canaria.

The proceedings began in May last year, almost three years after the trip began in July 2013.

They did not mention their condition to hotel staff or tour representatives in the resort, according to Thomas Cook.

On the return flight Mr McIntyre completed a holiday feedback questionnaire and left the section on illness unanswered but recorded that the service supplied was good or excellent in relation to the majority of questions, the firm said.

It reported that Mr McIntyre told the court he had drunk six pints of lager and put a favourable gloss on the trip in a bid to be more likely to benefit from a prize draw incentive for handing in the form.

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