Eastbourne father seeks compensation after catching rat urine disease on holiday

Tony Wright in hospital. Photo provided by Slater and Gordon
Tony Wright in hospital. Photo provided by Slater and Gordon

An Eastbourne father is seeking compensation after he says he was made seriously ill from rat-infested water while on holiday.

Tony Wright, of Granville Road, had to take six months off work after he caught Weil’s Disease (Leptospirosis) – which he believes came from rat urine in the water pumped from the resort’s lake.

The 48-year-old father of four was staying at the Lac Du Menhir resort near Calais, France, for a fishing trip with a friend. He believes the water for showers and washing up, which came from the lake, was not cleaned properly.

He said, “The place was alive with rats. When you got in your tents at night you could just hear them all running around. Two weeks later I became really ill.”

Mr Wright suffered sepsis and acute kidney disease after the incident last April. He said, “The doctor said if I’d waited another couple of days my kidneys would have been damaged beyond repair. All my family thought I was going to die.”

A self-employed carpet fitter by trade, he is seeking compensation against the resort for negligence.

He said, “I was off work for six months and, as I’m self-employed, I didn’t get a penny. I still have days off now with fatigue and doctors say I could be affected for years.”

Despite everything, he says it hasn’t put him off his hobby. Mr Wright said, “I’ve been fishing since I was five and even this isn’t going to put me off!”

Leptospirosis can have life-threatening effects such as organ failure and internal bleeding. It is passed to humans through infected animals.

Sarah Pople, of Slater and Gordon, the law firm representing Mr Wright, said, “When people go on holiday, one of the most basic things they ask is for clean water to wash in.

“We believe Lac Du Menhir failed to provide this and, as a result, Mr Wright sustained potentially life threatening injuries.

“It’s crucial that holiday resorts ensure their facilities meet health and safety requirements.”

Lac Du Menhir has been contacted for comment.