Families of victims of the Sousse terrorist attacks have pledged to continue civil proceedings against Tui despite the lack of a neglect verdict at the inquests into the deaths of 30 holidaymakers.
Law firm Irwin Mitchell is representing 22 of the 30 Britons killed in the massacre by lone gunman Seifeddine Rezgui in Sousse, Tunisia, on June 26, 2015.
It had pushed for a finding of neglect by coroner judge Nicholas Loraine-Smith. Instead, the coroner recorded a verdict of unlawful killings for all 30 British victims.
Speaking after the inquest at the Royal Courts of Justice, travel litigation lawyer Kylie Hutchison said: “On behalf of our clients who lost members of their families and those who suffered injuries in this terrible incident, we will now be preparing to commence civil proceedings against Tui.”
The personal injury lawyer notified Tui last September that claims for damages were being brought following alleged failures to provide adequate security precautions at and around the Hotel Riu Imperial Mahraba and the beach next to it, where the massacre took place.
Responding to the decision, Tui UK managing director Nick Longman said: “We will deal with the civil case as and when it arises.”
Lawyers claimed families could face an “uphill struggle” to succeed following the inquest verdict.
Travlaw partner Matt Gatenby said: “It is a terribly sad situation but I don’t see that a civil claim against Tui has good grounds to succeed.”
Alan Bowen, legal adviser to the Association of Atol Companies, said: “No one has ever tried this before and the chances are lower now there is no verdict of neglect.
“It will be an uphill struggle to suceed against Tui, but if it goes to court then we [the industry] are not out of the woods yet.”