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Tunisia beach attack: British families launch legal action against TUI

By Alex Ross | News | Published:

Families of the Tunisia terror attack victims are suing travel agent TUI after launching legal action this week.

Police officers watch tourists taking photographs of flowers at the scene of the attack in Sousse, Tunisia

Thirty British tourists were murdered in the attack – including three members of the same Black Country family.

Legal firm Irwin Mitchell served formal court papers against TUI on behalf of the families of 22 of the victims this week.

The case centres on security at the Imperial Marhaba Hotel in Sousse and an alleged lack of travel safety information presented to customers.

At the conclusion of the six-week inquest into the deaths last year, coroner Judge Nicholas Loraine-Smith did reject suggestions ‘neglect’ by travel companies played any part in the deaths.

Left to right: Charles 'Patrick' Evans, Joel Richards and Adrian Evans were all killed in the attack

But the inquest - which ruled the victims were unlawfully killed - revealed how security guards employed at the hotel were poorly trained and there was limited CCTV coverage.

Following the hearing, Suzy Evans, from Wednesbury, said she planned to launch civil action against TUI.

Her 19-year-old son Joel, brother Adrian Evans, from Bilston, and father Patrick Evans, were among the victims.

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Her youngest son Owen, then 16, survived the attack, which happened in June three years ago.

Formal civil proceedings

Kylie Hutchison, a specialist international personal injury lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, 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.

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“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.”

A spokesman for TUI said: "We remain truly saddened by what happened on that fateful day in Sousse in June 2015 when 30 of our customers lost their lives in a terrorist attack which started on a public beach.

"Our thoughts remain with all of those who were affected by the horrific incident.

"As this is now subject to legal proceedings it would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage except to say we will fully cooperate with the judicial process."

Alex Ross

By Alex Ross
Investigations Editor - @alexross_star

Investigations Editor at the Express & Star. Everyone has a story - tell me yours.

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