Accidents on Holidays Abroad and The Package Holidays and Package Tours Directive
In cases of accidents while on holidays abroad, the vast majority of personal injuries claims arising from such accidents fall to be dealt with in the country where the accident happened. The normal jurisdiction is the jurisdiction or country of the person who caused the accident.
However, the Package Holidays and Travel Trade Act 1995 gives effect to Council Directive 90/314/EEC on Package Holidays and Package Tours. The intention of this legislation is to give recourse to people who have purchased a package holiday so that they can sue the organiser of the Package Holiday in Ireland as opposed to having to instruct a foreign Solicitor in the country where the accident occurred where there is damage from non-performance or improper performance of the services involved in the package. This covers for example trips and falls on a hotel premises where the hotel has been negligent in causing same and the organiser arranged the hotel. It would cover a road traffic accident caused by a tour purchased as part of the package, but would not cover a tour purchased while on holidays separately from the package holiday organiser.
Section 20(1) of the Act provides that:
“The organiser shall be liable to the consumer for the proper performance of the obligations under the contract, irrespective of whether such obligations are to be performed by the organiser, the retailer, or other suppliers of services, but this shall not affect any remedy or right of action which the organiser may have against the retailer or those other suppliers of services.”
It is therefore important that the service that caused the injury was part of the package purchased from the organiser in order for a claim to fall into this exception. If so, then you should be able to bring a claim in Ireland notwithstanding that the accident happened abroad.
I hope this article has been helpful. If you have any queries regarding personal injuries claims please contact us by phone at 061 501100, email Thomas Dowling, personal injuries partner at [email protected] or get a call back by completing our contact form so we can provide you with further information or advice.