The couple claimed the hotel food made them ill for weeks but posted holiday pictures on social media
A couple who tried to claim thousands of pounds in compensation after accusing a holiday resort’s food of making them ill have been fined.
Chelsea Devine, 21, and Jamie Melling, 22, from Liverpool, claimed the food at their resort in Benidorm had left them feeling ill for weeks, the Daily Mail reports.
But the judge labelled the couple ‘fundamentally dishonest’ after they posted pictures from their trip on social media.
The pictures showed them enjoying their holiday in September 2015. But in May 2016, they submitted identical claims, each demanding £2,500 in compensation.
“The statements are identical,” said the judge Recorder Sally Hatfield QC. “They say that they did not collude, but it is clear the statements were not written by them.”
The couple has been ordered to pay the £15,000 fine by Friday (23 March).
Holiday package retailer, Tui said: “It’s disappointing we have had to go this far to defend our industry and hotel partners, as well as protect honest holidaymakers. The court has found they brought claims that are fundamentally dishonest and have been ordered to pay our costs.
“This goes to highlight the penalty you can face if you bring an exaggerated or fraudulent holiday sickness claim.”
Doctor and law firm now being investigated
Following referrals by Tui, the doctor involved in the claim and the law firm which represented both Devine and Melling are being investigated.
Dr Zuber Bux gave evidence supporting the couple’s claim that they had suffered from a gastrointestinal illness.
He has been referred to the General Medical Council after it emerged he has been married to Sehana Bux, a partner at AMS Solicitors, for 19 years.
AMS Solicitors has been referred to the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
A spokesman for Tui said: “We believe the fact that medical evidence is being produced by the husband of a partner of AMS, the firm of solicitors representing Ms Devine and Mr Melling, raises serious and obvious ethical and legal questions. ‘We’ve made the General Medical Council and the Solicitors Regulation Authority aware of this and also highlighted our concern to the court.”