British victims of Tunisia terror attack launch compensation battle

British victims of Tunisia terror attack launch compensation court battle against TUI over hotel security and information given to tourists before and during crisis

  • 30 Britons were murdered and 50 injured during Sousse attack in June 2015
  • Seifeddine Rezgui able to wander around killing with AK-47 for nearly an hour
  • Irwin Mitchell represents the families of 22 people who died in the attack
  • They are suing package holiday giant TUI  over alleged security failures

Dozens of Britons who lost loved ones or were injured in the Tunisian terror attacks are suing package holiday giant TUI blaming them for poor hotel security.

38 people were murdered including 30 from the UK and dozens more suffered life changing injuries following the violent attack by Seifeddine Rezgui at a hotel in Sousse on June 26 2015.

Irwin Mitchell represents the families of 22 people who died in the attack as well as more than 50 people who suffered injuries including gunshot wounds and people hit by shrapnel from explosions at the Imperial Marhaba Hotel. 

Others sustained injuries such as torn tendons and leg and feet injuries while fleeing the attacker.

Most are still suffering from psychological injuries after witnessing the horrific attack with some having comforted family members fatally wounded.

Tunisia ISIS gunman Seifeddine Rezgui seen calmly walking on Sousse beach carrying his weapon as he killed and maimed victims in 2015

Mat James, 33, from Wales, was shot protecting his girlfriend from the gunfire, and is among the group now suing TUI

People died, others suffered physical injuries in the chaos while more also have PTSD and mental scars

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Mat James, 33, from Pontypridd, Wales, was shot multiple times while protecting his girlfriend during the attack. 

He has needed multiple operations on his leg since the attack but is still suffering from problems related to the injury’.

He said: ‘The horrible attack was obviously life-changing for so many people. Even now, a few years on my injuries are still affecting me.

‘We can never forget what happened and I’m lucky to be alive, but hopefully by taking legal action everyone involved can get the help and support we need to aid our recoveries as much as possible.’ 

The legal case centres on security at the hotel, what was known about previous attacks in Tunisia and the lack of information presented to customers both at the time of booking and when the situation may have changed regarding travel advice. 

Many of the families affected were unaware of the Foreign and Commonwealth (FCO) travel advice that there was a ‘high threat from terrorism’ in Tunisia. Neither TUI’s 2015 written brochure or their 2015 website informed them of the content of the FCO travel advice before they booked their holidays.

These are the 30 Britons murdered by an ISIS gunman while on holiday in Sousse, Tunisia on June 26 2015

Rezgui opened fire on the tourists at the hotel in Tunisia and was able to do so for 47 minutes

A seven-week inquest last year into the deaths of 30 Britons who died in the attack heard how security guards employed at the hotel were poorly trained, ineffective and unable to communicate with each other. 

There was limited CCTV coverage, much less than at other nearby hotels and a number of other security measures were inadequate – including gates and perimeter fences; and no protocol in place to be followed in the event of a terrorist attack.

Kylie Hutchison, a specialist international personal injury lawyer at Irwin Mitchell representing the families affected, said: ‘On behalf of our clients who lost members of their families and those who suffered injuries in this terrible incident, we have now served formal civil proceedings on TUI claiming damages. The damages claimed will help compensate them for their suffering, their financial losses and help survivors meet the costs of specialist treatments and therapies to aid their recoveries.

‘The level of terrorist threat in Tunisia had been escalating for some time prior to June 2015. This included a failed suicide bomb attempt outside a beach Hotel in Sousse in October 2013 and an attack at the Bardo museum in Tunis in March 2015 in which 22 people were killed.

‘Despite this TUI, the Tour Operator who organised the holidays and was responsible for our clients’ safety, did not audit the adequacy of security at the hotel or take appropriate precautions to keep our clients safe from an attack. Nor did they inform our clients of the level of threat of terrorism which many of the holidaymakers say would have changed their mind about holidaying in Tunisia at the time.’ 

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