The Court of Appeal has ruled: UK holidaymakers who fell ill onboard the Fred Olsen cruise ship are entitled to compensation.
A total of 16 passengers suffered GI symptoms (vomiting, severe stomach cramps, diarrhoea) while cruising on Boudicca to Canary Islands, Cape Verde and Iberian Peninsula in March-April 2011.
In 2015, Birmingham County Court found Fred Olsen guilty of neglect for the suffering of the passengers, including some who were so ill they were confined to their cabins.
The judge rejected cruise line's claim that it was not at fault, and agreed with the trial judge there were 'multiple failures' to implement a plan to prevent the spread of the stomach bug.
The ruling paves the way for the passengers to receive a fair settlement of their claims.
A Fred Olsen spokeswoman said:
'Fred Olsen Cruise Lines is extremely disappointed by the court’s decision, particularly in light of the permission to appeal the original ruling.
'Fred Olsen believes that it made every reasonable effort, in accordance with its approved norovirus outbreak prevention and control plan, to prevent and contain the virus on board Boudicca.
'In the original ruling, the Judge deemed Fred Olsen’s norovirus outbreak prevention and control plan to be "an appropriate plan consistent with authoritative advice and with industry standards".'
The spokeswoman said outbreak prevention is of utmost important and every crew member is aware of the plan's strict requirements. The spokeswoman said:
'Fred Olsen guests are all made aware of the need to maintain the highest standards of personal hygiene at all times and are educated regularly as to how to prevent the outbreak and spread of the virus on board.'