David Lloyd Leisure Ltd fined £70,000 after five swimmers at Ipswich club ended up in hospital

David Lloyd Leisure Ltd, Ipswich

David Lloyd Leisure Ltd, Ipswich - Credit: Archant

A leisure company has been ordered to pay £130,000 after five swimmers at its Ipswich fitness club needed hospital treatment following exposure to a noxious substance.

Recorder Simon Blackford fined David Lloyd Leisure Ltd £70,000 and ordered it to pay £60,000 towards prosecution costs at its Ipswich Crown Court sentencing.

He added that the business now faces a six-figure bill for prosecution and defence costs alone.

David Lloyd Leisure Ltd had previously admitted being an employer breaching its general duty to others than an employee after chloramines were released into its swimming pool.

Chloramines are irritants which generally cause short-term respiratory problems.

The incident occurred while staff were trying to restart the pool’s pumps around 7am on February 22, 2012.

The judge concluded that although the national fitness and leisure company was negligent with regards to safety it was not reckless.

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After the hearing a spokeswoman for David Lloyd Leisure Ltd – which has 3,745 members nationally - said the incident in 2012 caused the members to experience short-term adverse effects.

The spokeswoman added: “David Lloyd Leisure takes the health and safety of its members extremely seriously and strives at all times to achieve exceptional standards and the safest environment possible in our clubs.

“However, we fully accept that on this occasion we fell short of those high standards and we sincerely apologise to those members who were affected.

“Following the incident, the company immediately conducted a comprehensive review of its pool safety procedures and implemented new measures to avoid a similar event happening again.”