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Britisch couple face losing home after Greek hotel countersues them for ‘fake’ sickness claim

A British couple face losing their home after a five-star Greek hotel counter-sues them for £170,000. The couple had made a £10,000 claim that the resort’s food and drink made them ill. The five-star hotel has made a counter-claim against them alleging the claim was ‘fake’ and for ‘damaging its reputation.’

Sean and Caroline Bondarenko  are alleged to have fabricated a £10,000 claim. They said the food and drink at the Caldera Palace Hotel in Crete made them ill.

Now the couple, from Darlington, County Durham are trying to drop their claim.

The case comes after travel firms in the UK and Europe said holiday sickness claims by British tourists had increased by up to 700 per cent in the past 18 months.

In damning court documents, the Crete hotel has made a counter-claim against the Bondarenkos, saying they enjoyed their holiday and ‘consumed large quantities of alcohol’ when they were supposed to have been sick.

Atlantica Hotel Management Ltd claims the couple from Darlington, County Durham – who booked their holiday with Thomson – did not report any illness during their one-week stay in October 2013, and didn’t make their bid for compensation until three years later.

The hotel chain says it has a dossier of Facebook posts which demonstrate the Bondarenkos enjoyed their stay. It is thought to be the first time holidaymakers have been taken to court accused of making a fake sickness claim.

Now the couple are trying to drop their claim. Thomson said: ‘UK holidaymakers should understand that if they make a fraudulent claim they could face prosecution at home or overseas.’

Mr Bondarenko, 47, said he and his 42-year-old wife had been ill, but only for a day or so. He added: ‘We would not have made a claim if the claims management firm hadn’t got in touch. (dailymail)

According to UK’s Sun, there have been reports on a huge rise in the number of bogus sickness claims in the last 18 months – with some Spanish hotels threatening to axe all-inclusive holidays for Brits.

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5 comments

  1. Bravo Atlantica Hotel Management Ltd, I hope they win. We stream a UK radio station here and there are daily adverts by an ‘ambulance chasing’ insurance company promising big payouts for food poisoning whilst on holiday. These insurance companies take a big slice of any compensation and it’s a shame Atlantica Hotel Management Ltd can’t sue the insurance company too.

  2. keeptalkinggreece

    what? really?

  3. Yes really. I have no patience with people why try to cheat the system by making false claims. You reap what you sow.

  4. Agreed, Tony. Fraudulent insurance claims are big business these days, and it’s the ‘No Win, No Fee’ lawyers who are largely driving the situation. It needs more companies like Atlantica to counter=sue in cases like this. And I also agree that they should be able to sue the law firms involved in these frivolous cases. The customers who are ostensibly bringing the case are just patsies – the law firm would take the lion’s share of any compensation won anyway.

    Did you know that fully half of the total NHS budget in UK, (about £116 billion) goes on compensation claims? Many of them brought by unscrupulous ambulance chasing lawyers. Yes, HALF THE TOTAL BUDGET! That’s £58 billion a year! Of taxpayers money. It’s no wonder they’re always saying they don’t have enough money.

  5. nisakiman your post is wrong on many levels.

    First it is not no win no fee lawyers driving the situation. As the article says, it is claims management companies. They are the ones that scoop up these people.

    Second the law firm does not take the lion’s share of the money as by law they are only allowed to take a maximum of 25% and in the competitive legal services market most take less.

    Finally, the £58 million you refer to of the NHS budget is what they set aside, not what they spent. You will also note that the NHS loses 76% of the cases it takes to court and that the attitude of the NHS Litigation Authority has been pithily summed up as ‘delay, deny, defend.’

    Given the NHS is losing 3 casea for every one that it wins I suggest that they could reduce costs by stopping defending the indefensible.