“Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
In other words, if you’re going to file a lawsuit saying that you got food poisoning while on vacation, don’t post pictures of yourself having a marvelous time while on said vacation.
Case in point: A family of vacationers who claimed they picked up a gastric bug while on a Jet2holidays package were determined to have committed fraud after photos and videos showed them using the water slide, swimming in the pool and drinking in the bar – all during the time that they claimed to be sick.
Christopher Byng, 38, Barbara Byng, 64, Linda Lane, 36 and Anthony Byng 66, all from Middlesbrough, near the east coast of northern England, were convicted of contempt of court after admitting they submitted false claims of gastric illness.
The four claimed that they, and the two children in their party, had all suffered with various symptoms that included stomach cramps, sickness, diarrhea, headaches and hot and cold sweats, due to food poisoning they all got on an all-inclusive vacation at the Paradise Lago Taurito & Waterpark, in Gran Canaria, in November 2016.
They sued Jet2holidays, which was the travel company that set up the vacation.
During the investigations, Jet2holidays and their law firm discovered evidence that showed the claims were fabricated. This included posts on social media that showed the family at the resort, using the waterslide, swimming in the pool and drinking in the bar. No mention or sign of any illness was made in/with these posts, even though they claimed in their case that they were suffering with severe symptoms during that time frame.
Christopher Byng also said nothing about illness in a post-vacation follow-up survey. In fact, he said he was “very satisfied” with the choice, cleanliness and quality of meals at the hotel. When the survey asked how likely he was to book with Jet2holidays again in the next 12 months, he responded that he was “very likely” to do so.
The Byngs were sentenced to 4 months in jail. Lane received a suspended sentence. They must also pay £20,000 (about $28,000) in court costs.
Jet2holidays CEO Steve Heapy said: “We have led the way when it comes to tackling the issue of fake sickness claims, and we continue to do so. Issuing a false claim for compensation is fraud, plain and simple, and we have been at pains to warn people that there are serious consequences if they choose to do so. Today’s ruling is the latest illustration of that, and it sends out a very stark message. We will not hesitate to take action against fraudsters, and the courts will not hesitate to punish them.”
This was followed up by David Scott, by one of Jet2holiday’s lawyers assigned to the case. He said that although his firm has defended thousands of cases similar to these, they’re still an ongoing issue for travel companies.
“We welcome the judge’s verdict, which sends out a strong message that if you are caught presenting a dishonest claim, there are severe consequences,” said Scott.
H/T: Yahoo News
Feature Photo: pxhere
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary