Holidaymaker who suffered life-threatening injuries when walking into a glass door on holiday wins appeal to keep damages

Mrs Moira Japp, 53, of Worthing, West Sussex, was on holiday in Barbados when the incident occurred in October last year.

Mrs Japp had been relaxing and reading a book on the balcony of her room, and was wearing only her swimsuit, when the telephone rang and she accidentally walked into the closed French windows. The glass shattered and she suffered deep lacerations all over her body, which her lawyers say could have cost her life.

Mrs Japp sued Virgin Holidays, who organised the trip, saying they were responsible for ensuring that the hotel was “reasonably safe” for British holidaymakers, including having toughened or safety glass in the patio doors.

At the time, a Judge at Brighton County Court, found Virgin Holidays 80% liable for what happened.

Attacking the initial ruling at the Court of Appeal, Virgin Holidays argued that it placed unrealistically high demands on travel agents, effectively exporting British ideas about reasonable health and safety standards to countries where they mean nothing.

However, dismissing the appeal, Lord Justice Richards said holiday firms were obliged by law to avoid booking clients into hotels where they could not be reasonably safe and the ruling in Mrs Japp’s favour was ‘inevitable’.

The Judges ruled that Mrs Japp was fully entitled to the £24,000 award for the accident, which turned her trip to the luxury Crystal Palace Hotel, in Barbados, into a nightmare.

 Virgin Holidays have warned that the payout to Moira Japp would create a dangerous precedent and oblige tour operators to export tough British safety standards to “far flung, exotic places”.