According to the Ministry of Justice, the UK Government has decided to take massive action against fraudulent sickness claims for package holidays. This is because they "damage the British travel industry.” The government is doing this by introducing fixed recoverable costs. These fixed recoverable costs will give tour operators a better chance at challenging claims that seem a little suspicious. This will level out the ‘legal playing field’ of the holiday injury claims sector. These fixed recoverable costs will also begin to address the issue of the rising amount of ungrounded claims. For example, the high level of sickness claim fraud. Not only this but the Ministry of Justice, “…laid before Parliament an amending (negative) statutory instrument (SI) which will extend the fixed recoverable costs regime (FRC) to gastric illness claims”. Furthermore, they will also be presenting a PAP or Pre-Action Protocol for Package Travel Claims.

Package Holidays and Sickness Claim Fraud: Who Are the Culprits?

DWF reported that fraudulent gastric illness claims “make up 90% of such claims”.  Beyond this, they spoke of specific and fraudulent claims cases relating to package holidays. This is where individuals took advantage of the package holidays claims system through package holiday sickness claims fraud. This included Jamie Melling and Chelsea Devine. They made a false sickness claim regarding a claimed gastric illness from a holiday resort in Spain. Another example of this is concerning a trial that took place near the end of last year. Paul Roberts and Deborah Briton found themselves with a 15-month jail sentence. This was of course, due to sickness claims that were fraudulent. The last case they mention is Jade Muzoka and Leon Roberts. They exposed their fraudulent sickness claim behavior via social media.

A little more about the UK Government Pre-Action Protocols

The UK government PAP or Pre Action Protocol aims to put forwards fixed recoverable costs for package travel claims. This as well as outline the steps of the necessary and expected legal protocol. The Protocol outlines the steps from gathering and making copies of medical records as well as the letter of claim. Furthermore, the letter of response, disclosure, expert involvement, negotiations, Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and much more. It has many aims which are to motivate early information exchange and investigation concerning all parties involved. Through doing this the Pre-Action Protocol can help parties avoid litigation. This as well as focus on important issues before any proceedings. Furthermore, it will assist in litigation management if this occurs. Learn more about this by going to the UK government website. Here you can read the full Pre-action Protocol for Resolution of Package Travel Claims.

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