Members of several families who attended a swimming party at a Lacy Lakeview hotel two years ago are suing the hotel, alleging they became ill after exposure to high levels of chlorine in the pool and hot tub area.
The suit, filed on the families’ behalf in Waco’s 74th State District Court by Waco attorney Dale Williams, alleges each plaintiff became “severely ill,” with adult plaintiffs missing work and their children missing days of school after the May 21, 2017, party at the Fairfield Inn & Suites Waco North, 4257 N. Interstate 35.
A manager at the hotel declined comment on the lawsuit Friday, and the hotel owners, Avatar Frontera Waco, of Plano, did not respond to an email request for comment.
The plaintiffs are seeking more than $200,000 in total damages but less than $1 million in damages, according to the lawsuit.
Plaintiffs include Aaron and Kristin McGregor and their children, Mason and Amelia, of Hillsboro; Matthew and Melissa Boyle and their son, Bryce, of Hillsboro; Mindy Moore and her son, Jaxon, of Waco; Frank Webb, of Waco; and Stuart and Amanda Scarborough, and their children, Caroline, Luke and Ella, of Hillsboro.
According to the lawsuit, Mindy Moore booked the pool area of the hotel for a going-away party for her husband, Robert Moore, who was being deployed for active Army duty in Korea.
“The air smelled heavy with chlorine, especially in the area of the hot tub,” the suit alleges. “All of the plaintiffs spent time in the hot tub. Many of the children complained of burning in their eyes from the excessive chlorine.”
Over the next 24 hours, those at the party became “severely ill,” with symptoms persisting most of the next week, including bacterial infections, myalgia, pneumonitis, chloramine gas poisoning, inhalation injuries, fever, respiratory infections, chest pain, coughs, burning in throats and eyes and severe vomiting, the suit alleges.
“Defendant Fairfield Inn failed to exercise ordinary care to keep the hotel and pool area in reasonably safe condition, failed to inspect the pool and hot tub area to discover latent defects, failed to make the premises safe and failed to give adequate warning to plaintiffs,” the suit claims.
This is the second time the Fairfield Inn & Suites Waco North has been sued this year. In January, Waco attorney Samuel Wright alleged he contracted Legionnaires’ disease during a six-day stay at the hotel last summer.
There were two cases of Legionnaires’ disease reported in McLennan County in 2016, two cases in 2017 and three cases last year. All the reported cases emanated from the Fairfield Inn & Suites Waco North, Kelly Craine, a spokeswoman for the Waco-McLennan County Public Health District, has said.
Wright’s suit remains pending in Waco’s 414th State District Court.