Business
Travel agency loses $30Gs in lawsuits over nightmare Mexican vacation

US students on their spring break enjoy drinks at a beach in Mexico

Credits: REUTERS/VICTOR RUIZ GARCIA

QMI AGENCY

MONTREAL -  A judge ordered a Toronto travel agency to pay $30,000 to 19 angry Quebecers who found themselves overrun by 350 drunk and violent Ontario students at a Mexican resort during spring break of 2009.

The plaintiffs blame Sunwing Vacations for the "living nightmare" in which wasted kids urinated on their balcony, littered the poolside with broken glass and even forced resort staff to shut down the Jacuzzi due to fouled-up water.

A Montreal small claims court judge ruled against Sunwing after travellers filed five separate claims seeking refunds and moral damages.

They had arrived at the Club Grand Coco Bay hotel in Riviera Maya on March 12, 2009.

The morning after arriving, busloads of screaming young people crammed into the hotel, the judge summarized in his ruling.

"The entire hotel was disrupted by shouts and noise that lasted all night," read the decision. "Some customers "¦ had to deal with students on upper floors who urinated on their balconies."

Part of a nearby beach even had to be closed because of broken glass and the ruling stated "one of the hotel representatives even admitted to have 'completely lost control of hotel security'."

Six students were expelled from the hotel but the complainants say the mayhem didn't stop. They demanded half the cost of their vacation plus a $500 premium per person.

Sunwing said it shouldn't have to reimburse airfare since the flights went smoothly.

The judge disagreed, granting the plaintiffs' claim in its entirety.

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