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Legal News :: Monthly Digest : July 2006

Holiday compensation awarded after disastrous marriage trip
Adrian and Sheena Hallgarth’s marriage in the Dominican Republic was affected by one disaster after another. They planned a romantic holiday with family and friends but nothing organised by their tour operator First Choice seemed to go right.
Shortly before the wedding, everyone was affected by a nasty stomach illness On the day of the wedding they were told, the ceremony would be delayed and the wedding lunch would not be served until the evening.
Flowers were not provided as planned, except for the bouquet, which fell apart when thrown. The final straw came when after returning to England, the couple found their marriage would not be recognised anywhere but the Dominican Republic without a certain certificate.
The couple are happy with the award of £30,000 in holiday compensation from the tour operator, First Choice, but were not pleased about the length of time it took. They are still waiting for officials in the Dominican Republic to confirm their marriage.


Solicitors gain compensation for trespassing children
Four children injured in the collapse of a dilapidated building have won £60,000 in compensation from building developers. The children were playing in the ruins of a Grade 2 listed building, Berry Hill Hall, 4 years ago when a floor collapsed beneath them causing them to fall almost 20 feet to the ground.
Despite the fact that the children did not have permission to play inside the building the law provides that owners have a duty of care to all visitors including trespassers. The claim succeeded due to strong evidence showing the developers knew the building was dangerous and that children were regularly gaining access.


Successful RSI compensation claim
Companies are being warned to provide support and training to help prevent staff suffering repetitive strain injury following a successful compensation claim made by a Guardian freelance sub-editor last month.
Andrea Osborne was awarded damages after developing severe RSI that got progressively worse during her employment with the newspaper. Although regarded as a temporary employee by the Guardian, the court recognised her plea and awarded her £37,500.
Firms are expected to assess the way employees are sitting, the height of their seat, the angle of keyboard, and how often they get up to move around and advise them if they are at risk of developing RSI. It is hoped that this will make their employees’ working experience more pleasurable and decrease the chances of substantial claims for personal injury compensation being made.


Product liability worries for Cadbury
Cadbury has recalled a million chocolate bars that could have been contaminated with a rare type of salmonella, montevideo, The bacteria is thought to have got into some of the chocolate through a suspected pipe leak at the Herefordshire Cadbury plant.
Experts disagree as to whether the contamination is serious enough to cause a risk of sickness and product liability. The Food Standards Agency and the Health Protection Agency claim that the move to recall is precautionary only, but other experts in bacterial infections believe that any level of contamination could pose a health risk.
The products affected by the recall are the 250g packets of Cadbury Dairy Milk Turkish, Caramel, and Mint (including 33% extra free bars), the Cadbury Dairy Milk 8 Chunk, the 1kg Cadbury Dairy Milk bar, the 105g Cadbury Dairy Milk Button Easter Egg, and the Cadbury Freddo 10p.
A rise in cases of montevideo salmonella has been noted this year, with up to 45 people affected in the last four months in comparison with just 12 in the corresponding period last year. Anyone who believes they may be affected by the contamination should call Cadbury's free helpline number on 0800 818181.



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