Hot tubs that are improperly maintained may harbor bacteria that can cause a condition known as hot tub lung.
Hot tubs that are improperly maintained may harbor bacteria that can cause a condition known as hot tub lung.


The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that a former maintenance worker at Ten Thousand Waves, a resort and spa in Santa Fe, has filed a civil lawsuit against the organization. James Trujillo claims that he was exposed to airborne bacteria, which caused him to contact a respiratory infection known as hot tub lung, while on the job in 2014.

The infection is caused by inhaling the bacteria that resides in the mist of improperly maintained hot tubs, and symptoms include fatigue and low oxygen levels.

The complaint alleges that the spa did not inform Trujillo about the possible presence and risk of the bacteria. It stated that the resort had a history of dealing with employees who contracted the infection while at work. Two hot-tub cleaners were diagnosed with the infection in 2009, and further investigation by the state Department of Health revealed that 20 other workers complained of similar ailments. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identified large quantities of the bacteria in tubs and on spa surfaces at the resort.

Trujillo is seeking compensation as well as punitive damages.