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Woman wins disability discrimination claim against tour operator

A woman who suffers from arthritis has won a discrimination claim against a tour operator after her holiday was interrupted by civil unrest.

The woman had booked a package holiday in Tunisia. After civil unrest broke out, the tour operator arranged for her to be flown home. She was transferred to Monastir airport where she had to stand for several hours because she wasn’t provided with seating facilities or a wheelchair.

This caused her significant pain and she developed a migraine. She later had to return to the hotel when it became apparent that there was no flight available.

She took legal action against the tour operator for unlawful discrimination. She claimed it had failed to make reasonable adjustments to alleviate the pain from standing at the airport.

The judge ruled that as a service provider the tour operator had a duty to make reasonable adjustments such as providing seating.

The tour operator argued that because the incident happened in Tunisia, the woman wasn’t protected under EU law.

The case went to the Court of Appeal where the language and structure of the regulations were analysed in great depth.

The court ruled that the tour operator was still obliged to make reasonable adjustments under equality legislation even though the problem occurred at an airport outside the EU. The woman was awarded £7,500 compensation.

Please contact us for more information about the issues raised in this case or any aspect of discrimination and negligence claims.

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