Plans for a formal probe into rogue holiday illness claims firms have been welcomed by the industry but a leading travel legal firm said “more needs to be done” to stamp out the practice.
The Ministry of Justice’s Claims Management Regulator announced last week it is to examine the relationship between cowboy claims firms and solicitors after a surge in holiday sickness cases.
The action follows industry warnings that claims companies have moved into the holiday sickness market after the government acted to curb bogus compensation cases for whiplash injuries.
Abta members have reported dramatic rises in the number of gastric illness claims, far exceeding reported sickness in resorts.
Law firm Hill Dickinson, which has successfully defended Tui and Butlin’s against claims, said it was a step in the right direction but called on the government to look at how claims are processed.
Partner Maria Pittordis said: “We welcome the announcement that the Ministry of Justice is looking into claims management companies and their relationship with solicitors.
“But at the very least we believe that more should be done to bring these claims in line with other injury claims that are litigated in the UK.”
She said illness claims should be channelled through the ministry’s online claims portal, which was set up in 2010 to deal with personal injury cases and reduce costs.
Abta legal affairs director Simon Bunce said the association was delighted an investigation will look into the issue amid a surge in holiday sickness claims.
He added: “This issue is a serious concern for our members, for the industry as a whole and for consumers with genuine claims.”
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