Thursday 29 September 2016

Tunisia beach victims start legal action against travel firm Thomson

Sarah Young

Published 10/09/2015 | 17:26

A Tunisian security member stands next to a swimming pool at the resort town of Sousse following a brutal attack that left 38 tourists dead Credit: FETHI BELAID (AFP/Getty Images)
A Tunisian security member stands next to a swimming pool at the resort town of Sousse following a brutal attack that left 38 tourists dead Credit: FETHI BELAID (AFP/Getty Images)

A group of holiday-goers and their families who were victims of the beach gun attack in Tunisia that killed 38 tourists have started legal action against holiday company Thomson, claiming that the operator failed to provide adequate security at its hotel.

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Several families who lost loved ones as well as a number of those who were seriously injured in the attack brought a claim for damages against Thomson through UK lawyers Irwin Mitchell, the law firm said in a statement on Thursday.

Formal claim letters had been sent to Thomson but no formal response had been received, said the statement.

Read More: Thousands pay respects as couple gunned down on holiday brought home

"It's our policy not to comment on legal action," a spokeswoman for Thomson said when contacted by Reuters.

Irwin Mitchell's head of international personal injury Clive Garner said that Thomson was legally responsible for any failures to provide reasonable security precautions and adequate warnings to guests before and during their stays.

"It is clear that the security measures were not sufficient to prevent a lone gunman from accessing the hotel and its grounds, nor were they robust enough to stop him during a prolonged 30 to 40 minute rampage," he said.

Read More: Husband of tragic Tunisia victim Lorna Carty thanks tourists 'who put their arms around him' on fateful day

Two weeks after the attack, thousands of tourists rushed to leave Tunisia after a number of countries warned another attack was "highly likely".

Mother-of-two Lorna Carty from Robinstown, Co Meath, and Athlone couple Larry and Martina Hayes were three Irish tourists shot and killed during the beach carnage.

TUI, the world's largest leisure and tourism company, said in August that cancelled holidays to Tunisia would cost it between €35 and €40 million in total in its current financial year.

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