The families of the 30 British victims of the 2015 terror attack in Sousse, Tunisia will sue tour operator TUI following the coroner’s ruling that they unlawfully died.
While TUI has denied any wrongdoing or claim of neglect, the solicitor representing 22 victims’ families, Kylie Hutchison, told the BBC that the firm needed to learn from the incident. “On behalf of our clients who lost members of their family and those who suffered injuries in this terrible incident, we will now be preparing to commence civil proceedings against TUI.”
However, while criticising the police response to the attack which saw a lone gunman kill 38 people at a hotel in Sousse, Judge Nicholas Loraine-Smith rejected a finding of neglect against the tour firms and the hotel.
Lorraine-Smith said this ruling could not apply to a situation where tourists had voluntarily agreed to go on holiday.
The coroner also disagreed with claims armed hotel guards may have safeguarded against such an attack.
“Having reviewed the legal advice on gun law in Tunisia, it’s clear this was not a realistic option,” he said. “The simple but tragic truth in this case is that a gunman armed with a gun and grenades went to that hotel intending to kill as many tourists as he could.”
In a statement following the inquest, TUI managing director Nick Longman said: “We have now heard the coroner’s findings and his comments regarding the provision of security and visibility of travel advice.
“These are complex matters and we have already taken steps to raise awareness of the FCO’s Travel Aware campaign. As an industry we have adapted and we will need to continue to do so.”