The law firm acting on behalf of 151 First Choice customers of claiming for damages after they became ill during a holiday in Tunisia has said it will appeal against a judgment that limits its costs.
In a rare judgement this week Judge McDuff, sitting at the Birmingham District Registry, decided to cap the costs of law firm Irwin Mitchell to £215,000. The firm was claiming up to £2 million while seeking damages of just £400,000.
Clive Garner, Head of the International Travel Litigation Group at Irwin Mitchell said: “We are obviously very disappointed by the decision of the judge in this case.
“This is a case where a large number of men women and children became ill, some seriously and we have been using all our skill and expertise to establish their claims against a tour operator who has so far refused to accept liability.
“Cases such as these require considerable investment if they are to be contested and we are disappointed that the court has not given full recognition of that fact.
“We strongly believe all people deserve access to justice and we hope the courts will support our clients in ensuring that costs capping does not fetter that access. We have obtained permission to appeal.”
In a statement Irwin Mitchell said it was proud of its record in representing victims, ensuring they are fully compensated for illness or injury suffered abroad.
“We have acted for thousands of victims in ground breaking group action claims against tour operators and recovered record awards of damages for many of them.
“The firm has pioneered group action and individual claims which, we and others believe, has led to higher safety standards and consequently reduced the number of holidaymakers who suffer injury or illness abroad.”
The law is representing the 151 clients on conditional fee agreements (CFA) meaning that it will take the burden should it lose these cases, whilst its clients were protected.
Irwin Mitchell said condemned conditions at the hotel and said many of its clients continue to be ill and have permanent symptoms. It said it believed its work was “priced entirely appropriately” and defended its actions against what it described as “defendants with deep pockets want to fight claims”.
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