Holidaymaker Entitled to Compensation Claim in UK after Injury in Spain

June 22nd, 2015 | By licnewsadmin

A holidaymaker from the United Kingdom that was injured in a hotel whilst holidaying in Tenerife can make a compensation claim against the Spanish hotel in the UK, the Court of Appeal has ruled.

The accident occurred on the 26th October 2006 when Godfrey Keefe, fifty-two of Gateshead in Tyne and Wear was holidaying with his family at the Bahia Principe Hotel in Tenerife. Whilst he was relaxing by the hotel’s pool, a parasol situated nearby was caught by a gust of wind and became airborne. The parasol collided with Mr Keefe’s face, with the spike at the tip of the parasol impaling his right eye and imbedding itself so deep in the victim’s head that it caused damage to his brain.

Medical attention was immediately sought for Mr Keefe, who subsequently underwent surgery on his eye to remove the tip of the parasol from his head. Many operations on his brain have been carried out since the incident, and he is still left with only partial sight. The accident has left him dependent on an intensive care regimes for life. Mr Keefe, who was working as a director of a civil engineering firm before the tragic accident has been rendered unable to return to work; the likelihood of his return to employment is slim.

Mr Keefe sought legal counsel concerning the accident, and consequently made a compensation claim for the injuries he sustained against the owners of the Bahia Principe Hotel, Hoteles Pinero Canarias. Mr Keefe alleged that the hotel had been negligent in their failure to safely secure any parasols by the pool, thus putting guests in danger.

The insurance company for the hotel said that they would only concede liability on the condition that the claim would be resolved in Spain. However, this would reduce the maximum compensation settlement that to which Mr Keefe would be entitled to €800,000 (approximately £570,000). If the case were to be resolved in the United Kingdom, the victim would be entitled to claim in excess of £5 million against the Spanish hotel.

The case was brought to the Court of Appeals, where the judges deemed that European law entitled Mr Keefe to claim against the Spanish hotel in the UK. The judges cited “powerful policy reasons” why Mr Keefe should be allowed to do this, and the case has since been adjourned to assess damages.

Categories: Personal Injury

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