Tourism

TUI faces legal action over Tunisia attack

Hannah Edensor

Hannah Edensor

The tour operator TUI could now be facing legal action from the families of the victims of the terror attack on a Tunisian beach in 2015, which saw 30 British people killed.

According to The Australian, lawyers are planning civil proceedings against tour operator, TUI, after a coroner conducting inquests into those killed deemed the tourists were unlawfully killed.

The attack saw Tunisia declare a state of emergency, while tourists quickly fled the country and MSC Cruises and a number of hotels pulled their presence from Tunisia.

But Judge Nicholas Loraine-Smith ruled against the finding of “neglect” on TUI’s part, along with the owners of the Riu Imperial Marhaba, which was where the beach attack took place.

The families of the victims were critical of the hotel’s security, and also believed TUI was complacent in its ‘duty’ to warn travellers about the dangers of Tunisia, which had suffered a previous terrorist attack in capital Tunis three months priorand claimed the lives of a number of tourists, including those disembarking from MSC cruise ships.

Representation for 22 families of the victims, Kylie Hutchison, who works for law firm Irwin Mitchell, said they had heard “shocking evidence about the level of security precautions at the Imperial Marhaba Hotel at the time of the terrorist attack”.

“It is now crucial that the whole travel industry learns from what happened in Sousse to reduce the risk of similar catastrophic incidents in the future,” she said, per The Oz.

“On behalf of our clients … we will now be preparing to commence civil proceedings against TUI.”

The inquest also heard that one holidayer had quizzed their travel agent on the earlier attack at the Bardo Museum, and were told it was a “one-off” and that the Sousse beach destination was “100 per cent safe”.

But, per The Oz, a Thomson travel agent had previously made statements in the inquest saying she would never give a destination a complete safety guarantee.

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

  • frankies_boots

    Not sure your intro is quite right. The terror attack is facing legal action?

  • Hannah Edensor

    You’re so right frankies_boots – what an eagle eye! Thanks for reading Travel Weekly!

  • Is it just me or…

    I feel terrible for all those families who lost loved ones but…when will travellers take some responsibility for researching their own holiday destinations? Let’s blame the consultant for not telling us of previous terror attacks in each country. Well that rules out basically every place on the planet! And a terror attack can happen any place at any time. I’d tell them to stay home except the British themselves have experienced more terror attacks at home than places like Tunisia – so who are they going to sue when they get blown up simply walking down their own street? This will lead to the travel industry placing a disclaimer on every holiday package to every destination – “be warned you may die and we’re not responsible”. Besides if the Tunisian resort is found to be lax on security, TUI will simply sue them and end up making more money than the plaintiffs, if the Thomas Cook Corfu poisoning case is anything to go by…and of course, the lawyers will be rubbing their hands together through the entire proceedings…

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