A woman from Bradford who was poisoned by Gluten whilst staying in a holiday resort has claimed compensation following a mistake by catering staff.
The Claimant had been diagnosed as a Coeliac sufferer which means she cannot eat any products containing wheatflour. She had carefully prepared for the holiday by bringing her own food and giving it to the catering staff to cook when required.
The injury occurred when she gave them some muffins to heat up for her but unaccountably they switched these for an ordinary wheatflour muffin and served it to her. She was unaware of the change.
Within half an hour she was terribly sick, sweating and dizzy. She spent the rest of her holiday break in bed and then had to endure a six hour journey home. When she got back she discovered that she had developed a severe bowel infection which required a course of antibiotics to cure and it took weeks for her to get back to anything like normality.
The Holiday Company at first simply tried to compensate her for the value of the food she had eaten, then a gesture of £100. She refused these offers and following medical reports and the involvement of a Solicitor an award that properly reflects the ordeal that she suffered is to be made.
This case illustrates two things. Firstly that there is a lack of awareness, even among professional catering staff of the condition and the likely outcome of eating gluten by a Coeliac sufferer. It is not a healthy eating fad- it is a medical condition that needs to be taken seriously.
Secondly, the case also shows how important it is to get legal representation when such an incident has occurred. Companies and restaurants are all to keen to cover up their mistakes by making offers that are wholly inadequate for the actually suffering incurred.