The widow of a British holidaymaker who died in a quad biking accident in Morocco is lodging a claim against Virgin Limited Edition and Sir Richard Branson.
Jamie Hulse, 47, died while staying at the Kasbah Tamadot hotel in the Atlas Mountains, a remote North African mountain range.
Jamie and his wife of 22 years, Sally, had booked a four-night break to the exclusive resort
On 16 July 2014, the third day of the trip, the couple, who have three children, booked to go on a quad biking trip, which was organised by the hotel.
The group met the guide on hotel grounds, and he reportedly did not speak English well enough to answer questions posed about the route or safety instructions.
His hand gestures apparently indicated it was mainly a level riverbed route.
However, the guide's actual route took them on to a narrow dirt road which rapidly ascended into the mountains.
After about 15 minutes it was noticed that Jamie, who had been at the rear of the group, was missing. Jamie and the quad bike he had been riding were subsequently found at the bottom of a cliff, alongside the narrow mountain path the group were travelling along.
In a statement, the law firm says: "In her search for answers and to try and establish what went wrong, Sally has instructed Stewarts Law LLP to investigate a claim against Sir Richard Branson and the relevant Virgin companies and to represent her at the Coroner's inquest which is expected to take place later in the autumn 2015.
"An initial approach was made to Sir Richard Branson at the beginning of December 2014, inviting him to compensate the family for Jamie's untimely death at the earliest opportunity. Although he expressed his condolences at what had happened, no apology was forthcoming and he instead passed matters into the hands of his companies' lawyers, initiating the very process that we had invited him to side-step.
"Stewarts Law sent a formal letter of claim to Virgin Limited Edition, Virgin Hotels Group Limited, Virgin Hotels Maroc SA and Sir Richard Branson in February 2015.
"Whilst they are funding Sally's wish to return to the scene of Jamie's accident on the first anniversary of his death, the companies have denied liability and indicated a firm intention to defend the claim."
According to the Standard, Virgin Limited Edition argue that the responsibility for health and safety remained at all times with the local Moroccan company KQS, who ran the excursion.
Sally Hulse commented: "I have no doubt that my husband would be alive today if it were not for the recklessness of the instructor taking inexperienced and under-aged riders on such a treacherous trip without any tuition, warning of the hazardous terrain or regard for their safety."
At the time of his death, Mr Hulse's wife Sally told the Daily Mail: "Our lives will never be the same. We are traumatised by the shock and devastation we are feeling.
"Jamie was well respected, kind and considerate. He always had time for everyone despite being exhausted from the unsociable working hours and his short life was filled with fun, laughter and happiness - he will be sorely missed, but never forgotten."
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