Bad eggs could end up costing a Melbourne hotel more than $1 million dollars in damages, with victims of a food poisoning outbreak winning the right to compensation. More than 50 people were poisoned at the Old England Hotel at Heidelberg in Christmas 2003. Up to 150 more could join the class action for compensation.

Today in the Federal Court, Justice Neil Young said the hotel had admitted liability and the victims’ damages claims would now be assessed.

"They were struck down quite heavily by the salmonella outbreak and were hospitalised and in very severe distress," said attorney Bernard Murphy. “They all receive full compensation – there’s been an effective admission of liability, all of their costs will be paid and it’s a terrific result for our clients and also the unidentified claimants."