Ottawa hairstylist sues Calypso Water Park for $3.2 million after allegedly breaking ankle

Calypso Water Park says it will “defend itself vigorously” against the latest slip-and-fall lawsuit to land at their door.

This latest litigation was filed by an Ottawa hairstylist who claims he broke his ankle in a children’s pool and is now suing for $3.2 million – the largest claim sought to date against the company, according to Ontario court records.

Rony Jermani, owner of Rony Jermani Salon and Spa in Greenboro, claims he fractured and dislocated his left ankle as he slipped on steps while exiting the pool at the park on June 22, 2014.

According to a statement of claim filed in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice on June 14, 2016, the hairstylist alleges the water park was negligent by failing to ensure the pool surfaces were safe and by failing to install handrails.

In a brief phone interview from his salon last week, Mr. Jermani told Metro the injury still causes him pain today and he has seen his business suffer as a result.

"I’m not able to work as much as before," he said.

"I’m in pain sometimes when I stand. When I stand on it not even from the ankle only, from the bottom of it, too. It hurts all the time. It’s been tough on me."

The statement of claim alleges, among other things, the water park failed to install non-slip surfaces and failed to "advise of the inherent danger of the underwater surfaces and steps of the children’s wading pool."

None of the allegations in the statement of claim have been proven in court. Calypso filed a notice of intent to defend the lawsuit on July 26, 2016.  

Mr. Jermani is seeking $3 million in special damages for future loss of earning capacity and loss of competitive advantage, and $200,000 for pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of amenities.

The injury required surgery and "internal fixation" and has led to "decreased tolerance for walking and standing," the statement of claim alleges.

He continues to lose income as a result of the injury, according to the document.

Calypso said in an email statement to Metro, "The lawsuit filed by Mr. Jermani claims grossly excessive damages."

"Mr. Jermani’s lawsuit is very similar to the one filed by Danielle Yelle in July 2010 which was dismissed by Judge Robert N. Beaudoin of the Ontario Superior Court in May 2015 with Judge Beaudoin ordering the plaintiff to pay Calypso costs."

Court records show there have been 14 personal injury lawsuits filed in Ontario Superior Court against Calypso since 2011. The Yelle case and five other lawsuits have been settled either in or out of court, according to the records. Eight cases remain before the court, including a $1.7 million injury lawsuit that is scheduled to go to trial next year.

The water park, located in Limoges, Ont., said it welcomes nearly half a million visitors during the three-month operating season.

"Calypso Theme Waterpark’s safety program is proactive, preventive and professional, with state-of-the-art infrastructures of the highest quality and design. Calypso adheres to the highest waterpark industry standards," the company said in a statement. 

"Every attraction has its own set of user rules and safety procedures which are clearly explained by its staff and described in on-site signage."

This article originally appeared on metronews.ca on Aug. 7.