Last week the Supreme Court handed down its judgment in this well-known case.
The Claimant, Mrs X, bought an all-inclusive package holiday with Kuoni Travel to Sri Lanka with her husband. In the early hours of 17th July 2010, while in the hotel grounds, Mrs X asked a male electrician and hotel employee to show her the way to the hotel reception. Instead of taking her to reception, the electrician lured her into an engineering room where he raped and assaulted her. Mrs X brought a claim for damages against Kuoni Travel. She argued that the rape and assault amounted to a breach of contract and/or breach of the Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992.
The two issues which the Supreme Court had to decide were:
Did the rape and assault of Mrs X constitute improper performance of the obligations of Kuoni Travel under the package travel contract?
If so, is any liability of Kuoni Travel excluded by the contract itself or the 1992 Package Travel Regulations?
In response to the first issue, the Supreme Court found that being accompanied to reception by a member of hotel staff was a service falling within the scope of holiday arrangements which Kuoni contracted to provide. The rape and assault of Mrs X by the hotel employee constituted improper performance of that contract.
In response to the second issue, liability of Kuoni Travel could not be excluded by the contract itself or the 1992 Package Travel Regulations.
Kuoni was found liable to Mrs X.
The Supreme Court has taken a broad view of the obligations of tour operators under a package travel contract, which extends beyond the provision of transport, accommodation and meals to other ancillary services. Although this decision concerns the 1992 Package Travel Regulations, it is a clear indicator of how cases will be dealt with moving forwards under the new Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018.
To see the full judgment please click on this link .
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