Liability has been admitted in nearly three hundred compensation claims for norovirus sickness made by customers of the Exeter Arms in Middlemoor, Devon.
On Sunday March 29th 2015, a customer of the Exeter Arms Hotel and Restaurant in Middlemoor was sick in the restaurant foyer. Subsequent tests revealed the customer was suffering from norovirus sickness, and both the restaurant and the hotel were closed on Thursday April 2nd to undergo a deep clean.
Although the hotel remained closed, the restaurant opened for the busy Easter weekend. However, when scores more customers and staff fell ill after eating at the Toby-managed pub and carvery, the restaurant was forced to close once again on Tuesday April 7th. Subsequently 285 compensation claims for norovirus sickness were made against the chain´s owners – Mitchells and Butlers Retail ltd.
Now, more than a year after an investigation was launched by environmental health officials, Mitchells and Butlers Retail Ltd has acknowledged the company was in breach of duty by opening so soon after the deep clean and admitted liability for the injuries suffered by the customers who contracted the norovirus sickness.
The admission of liability will enable those affected by the outbreak to proceed with their compensation claims for norovirus sickness, with settlements based on the extent of the injury and the length of time it took them to recover. Although the symptoms of norovirus can clear up within a few days, more vulnerable people can suffer longer-term effects.
John Williams (68) from Bangor in North Wales was one customer who experienced the longer-term effects of norovirus sickness. He told the Exeter Express and Echo that his symptoms had lasted three weeks, ruined his holiday and stayed with him after his return to Wales. He said; “The Exeter Arms failed to inform me before travelling to the restaurant and hotel that there were problems with illness. My holiday was absolutely ruined and I want to know why more wasn’t done to control the outbreak.”