Thomas Cook has confirmed that it has donated compensation received from the Louis Group in connection with the deaths of Robert and Christianne Shepherd to the children’s charity Unicef.
Cook was the subject of media reports this weekend that it received £3.5 million in compensation from the Louis hotels group for costs and damage to its reputation following the deaths of children Robert and Christianne in Corfu in 2006.
The Mail on Sunday reported that, in contrast, the children’s parents Neil Shepherd and Sharon Wood had received compensation payments of about £350,000 each.
An inquest in Wakefield reached a verdict of “unlawful killing” on the children’s deaths from carbon monoxide poisoning last week.
Thomas Cook confirmed today that it had received £1.5 million “in connection with a settlement with Louis Group” in 2013 and 2014.
In a statement, the company said: “That settlement was in relation to a case brought by Thomas Cook against Louis Group in October 2012 relating to this tragic incident.”
Group chief executive Peter Fankhauser said: “Thomas Cook has not in any way profited from our claim against the hotel owner.
“In late 2012, we brought a claim against the hotelier for breaching their contract to provide safe accommodation to our customers and to comply with all applicable laws, which was decided in our favour.”
“Today I have made arrangements for the full amount, £1.5 million, to be donated to Unicef, the world’s leading children’s organisation.
“I believe this is the right thing to do and I apologise to the family for all they have gone through.”
Thomas Cook made the claim in the UK courts and a summary judgment in its favour with the High Court awarding Cook £1 million as an initial compensation payment.
The remainder of the compensation was settled with the Louis Group in September 2013.
Thomas Cook said it had paid 50% of the amount to its insurers “as per our insurance arrangements”. “The remaining £1.5 million was retained by Thomas Cook.”