On Saturday, June 24, 2023, just before 5 PM, what should have been a leisurely day at the pool quickly turned into a nightmare. At Club Westside, a renowned sports club in West Houston owned by Mattress Mack, 12 guests were hospitalized after being injured by chemical exposure in the facility’s lazy river. The victims included at least seven children and three adults, with at least two of them critically injured and placed in the ICU.
The cause was traced to a chlorine spill that leaked into the lazy river.
The Danger of Over-Chlorination
Chlorine is a commonly used disinfectant in pools and spas, primarily because it inhibits bacterial growth, keeping the water clean. However, when the delicate balance of chlorine levels is disrupted, it can cause severe health problems. The most common symptoms of over-chlorination include asthma, nausea, and irritation of the skin and eyes. Ingesting over-chlorinated water can even lead to chlorine poisoning, which is typically associated with consuming household cleaners.
But why exactly is chlorine poisonous? It comes down to its corrosive nature. In soft tissue, chlorine oxidizes water and generates hydrochloric acid and hypochlorous acid. This chemical reaction can cause burns in both external and internal tissue, which can be severe in cases of high concentration or prolonged exposure. Regular pool maintenance requires continuous measurement of chlorine levels to ensure the pool remains clean and safe for all users. However, a lapse in this process can have devastating consequences.
Public or semi-public pools require even more vigilant measures to prevent both over- and under-chlorination. The horrific incident at Club Westside underscores the importance of stringent pool safety measures, particularly pool safety in Texas. It’s a stark reminder that while swimming pools can provide much enjoyment and relief from the heat, they can also pose serious risks if not managed correctly. Our firm has seen the consequences of over-chlorinated and poorly cleaned pools, and both create the potential for long-term suffering.
Our swimming pool accident lawyers will be following this story as it develops. Our hearts go out to the 12 hospitalized patients and their families; our thoughts and prayers are for a quick recovery.
- Chemical Exposure,
- Child Injuries,
- Premises Liability