Gosberton couple’s legal bid over their cruise health nightmare

Jill and Peter Dodd ANL-150610-143147001
Jill and Peter Dodd ANL-150610-143147001
  • Six others have also instructed solicitors

A couple who fell ill during a dream voyage to San Francisco are taking legal action against the cruise company involved.

Peter and Jill Dodd have instructed lawyers at Irwin Mitchell, the firm which represents the family of a man who fell ill on the same ship in 2012 and later died.

We just want to know how we came to be ill and what can be done to stop others facing what we’ve been through

Cruise passenger Jill Dodd

The Gosberton couple say they are still suffering the effects of the illness contracted on the Arcadia in January during a trip from Southampton to the USA.

Mrs Dodd recalled: “I fell ill with gastric symptoms just a few days into the cruise and then in the second week Peter began coughing up blood and mucus.

“Later I was suffering from similar respiratory symptoms.

“We both saw the doctor on board the ship and were given medication but the rest of the holiday was just not as enjoyable because of our symptoms.

“It was subsequently confirmed that campylobacter (a bacteria causing food poisoning) was the cause of the symptoms and they are still impacting on my life now.

“We just want to know how we came to be ill and what can be done to stop others facing what we’ve been through.”

Irwin Mitchell lawyers have been instructed by six other people who endured illness on the Arcadia in January. The case follows that of 77-year-old Anthony Doble, who died a month after suffering respiratory symptoms suspected to be Legionnaire’s disease while on board the Arcadia in April 2012.

Mr Doble’s family and 12 others are taking legal action against Carnival PLC (as P & O Cruises).

Clare Pearson, of Irwin Mitchell, said: “Our clients who were on board this ship in 2012 have endured an incredibly difficult few years since their ordeals and still want answers.

“However, due to Carnival not accepting responsibility for these claims it has meant we have been left with little choice but to issue court proceedings. We have also now been asked by passengers affected by problems on the same ship this year to investigate the cause of the illness they suffered.”

A P&O spokesman told the Guardian: “We are sorry that Mr and Mrs Dodds became ill with norovirus on board and we have already responded to their claimant lawyers.

“Norovirus is the most common cause of stomach bugs in England and Wales and according to Public Heath England, person to person transmission is common in environments such as hospitals, nursing homes, schools, restaurants and hotels.

“All of our ships have stringent ongoing cleaning and hygiene policies in place as a part of normal operations and if there is an occurrence of illness on board we then implement comprehensive isolation and disinfection protocols, developed in conjunction with UK and international health authorities. “