LA Fitness Pays for Harm Caused by Pool Chemicals

August 24, 2015

1 comment

According to, a court-appointed referee recently awarded Robert Prignoli $2,500 for harm that he suffered due to the pool chemicals that he was exposed to while swimming at an LA Fitness center.

After using the LA Fitness swimming pool in January of 2014, Mr. Prignoli suffered skin rashes, "severe" hair loss, eye irritation, loss of taste and smell and other problems. This result is significant because it shows that health centers (like LA Fitness) can be held accountable for the relatively well known side-effects of pool chemicals. See "What's the Chlorine Problem?"

Chlorine has been used to sanitize pools for at least the last half century.  It's a wonderful sanitizer, which makes it possible for people to swim in public bodies of water that would normally become contaminated with bacteria.  Of course, "chlorine" is the same chemical as bleach.  So, bathing in chlorine comes with some unwanted (but well known) side-effects, like hair and skin damage.  As far as I know, this is the first time that a swimmer has successfully recovered damages for these chemical side-effects from the pool owner.

Given that everyone knows about chlorine-related side-effects, holding a commercial pool responsible for that harm seems a little crazy.  Isn't the swimmer assuming the risk by getting into the chlorinated pool? On the flip side, pool owners are probably the best situated for keeping people safe from chlorine-related side effects.  Arguably, pool owners should provide their patrons with the ability to wash the chlorine off after swimming. 

Practically speaking, if pool owners provided patrons with access a vitamin C rinse (like SwimSpray) after swimming, then they could spare their customers most of the chlorine side-effects. Accordingly, businesses, like LA Fitness, could avoid the risk of lawsuits arising from chlorine-related side-effects.

Personally, I think that everyone who swims should rinse with vitamin C immediately after leaving the pool.  We are just beginning to appreciate the magnitude of chlorine-related side-effects. Given that rinsing with vitamin C is generally good for your body anyway, I don't see why anyone would take chances with unneeded chemical exposure. 


1 Response

Don Winant

August 25, 2015

On a positive note, Chlorine [CL] is highly effective at combating BO, i.e., body odour!!

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