Traveller wins £30,000 after hotel accused her of drunken fall in Santorini

A grandmother badly injured when she fell down stairs on holiday has won £30,000 compensation after a judge rejected claims that she was drunk. 

Carole Peters, 60, broke her right arm and suffered head injuries on the last night of her trip to the Greek island of Santorini in June 2011. She sued because the stairs to the hotel pool did not have proper handrails, but was accused of being “staggering drunk”. She told the court: “I don’t have to have a drink to enjoy myself, I’m not a party animal.”

Bosses at the Hotel Iliada in Perivolos also tried to blame the fall on Mrs Peters’ “silly shoes” and produced witnesses to back up its claim that she had been drunk.

The hotel relied on 30 holiday pictures of Mrs Peters, from Basingstoke, “in circumstances where alcohol was being consumed”, and even produced as evidence a picture of her husband in a “Beer Disposal Unit” T-shirt.

Judge James Howlett, sitting at Central London county court, said that the witnesses lacked credibility and accepted Mrs Peters had not been drinking. He said: “Her ability to walk safely and to descend a staircase was not in any way impeded by alcohol”, adding: “She was wearing sensible flat-soled sandals.”

He ruled that she was 25 per cent responsible as she was “not paying proper attention to where she was putting her feet”. But the main cause of her fall was that, in breach of legal safety rules, there was no rail on one side of the steps.

TUI UK Limited, which organised the package holiday, was ordered to pay her £33,750 damages. The firm is expected to reclaim the money from the hotel.
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