Tunisia attack victims start legal action against travel firm Thomson

Tourists mourn at the site of the shooting in June 2015 which left 30 Britons dead.
Tourists mourn at the site of the shooting in June 2015 which left 30 Britons dead.AFP

LONDON (REUTERS) - A group of Britons who were victims of a beach gun attack in Tunisia have started legal action against holiday company Thomson, claiming that the operator, part of TUI Group, failed to provide adequate security at its hotel.

Thirty Britons were killed in June at a hotel in Sousse on the Mediterranean coast, the biggest loss of British lives in such an incident since the July 2005 bombings in London.

Several families who lost loved ones as well as a number of those who were seriously injured in the attack brought a claim for damages against Thomson through lawyers Irwin Mitchell, the law firm said in a statement on Thursday.

Formal claim letters had been sent to Thomson but no formal response had been received, said the statement.

Thomson had no immediate response when contacted by Reuters for comment.

Irwin Mitchell's head of international personal injury Clive Garner said that Thomson was legally responsible for any failures to provide reasonable security precautions and adequate warnings to guests before and during their stays.

"It is clear that the security measures were not sufficient to prevent a lone gunman from accessing the hotel and its grounds, nor were they robust enough to stop him during a prolonged 30 to 40 minute rampage," he said.

Two weeks after the attack, thousands of tourists rushed to leave Tunisia after Britain warned another attack was "highly likely" and told them to leave.

TUI, the world's largest leisure and tourism company, said in August that cancelled holidays to Tunisia would cost it between €35 million (S$55 million) and €40 million in total in its current financial year.