Print full article

Whitby’s spa faces a $5 million lawsuit in reparation for illness

Seventy-two plaintiffs are now part of a civil lawsuit against Thermëa Spa Village in Whitby, Ont., asking for $5 million in compensation for contracting staphylococcus (staph) infections from one of the facility’s saltwater pools.

Eighty plaintiffs are now part of a civil lawsuit against Thermëa Spa Village in Whitby, Ont., asking for $5 million in compensation for contracting staphylococcus (staph) infections from one of the facility’s saltwater pools.

According to CTV News Toronto, a personal injury lawyer told the media outlet about a statement of claim filed with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice was sent to the spa.

This story is a follow-up to the original Pool & Spa Marketing’s Oct. 27, 2022, post.

The statement includes the names of Groupe Nordik, the Regional Municipality of Durham, some unidentified inspectors, and maintenance workers as defendants.

The plaintiffs claim to have suffered severe reactions after using the spa’s pools, such as acute skin rashes, ear infections, loss of hearing, and more. They also allege the spa’s pool facilities—particularly the Källa saltwater pool—were not in a suitable condition for public opening on Oct. 6, and that after reports were made about the illnesses, the company did not respond in a timely manner, and took a long time to shut down the pools. Further, they claim the spa withheld information deliberately from them, which could have aided them.

The spa’s ex-employee, who worked in close collaboration with Thermëa’s technical team, spoke with the Toronto Star on the condition of anonymity due to concerns over their severance package, claiming that the spa had been warned before time that the spa will not be ready by early October for opening.

“Prior to opening, I had made recommendations to my management team that [Kalla] should not open. And the management team and corporate obviously did not heed my warnings,” said the ex-employee, describing himself as a pool maintenance expert.

“Even though I told them the systems weren’t functioning properly, they proceeded to open. And within a matter of days of customers being there, it became clear there were issues,” they added.

A spokesperson from Groupe Nordik, the company behind the spa, told CTV News Toronto that it upholds high levels of transparency for both the visitors and the public at large.

“While we deny the allegations in the claim against Thermëa spa village in Whitby, we intend to fully participate in the litigation process,” reads the official spokesperson’s email response.

The first complaint against the pool was made to Durham Public Health on Oct. 10, four days after its opening. Durham Public Health issued the notice to the public that the pools had been shut down after discovery of a “health hazard” in the water. On Oct. 20, the spa’s CEO released the statement revealing that staph and pseudomonas were discovered in the Källa saltwater pool.

The plaintiffs have put forward the claim that the management did not respond fast enough and should have shut down the pools when the widespread illness was reported.

Results of an internal audit at the facility, made public on Nov. 2, revealed the contamination was due to a broken valve in the saltwater pool’s bromine erosion system and a malfunction with the pool’s ultraviolet (UV) disinfectant system.

Leave a Comment

Comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *