Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Woman sues Colonial Williamsburg for $750K after cutting toe in hot tub

The entrance to The Spa of Colonial Williamsburg. (Andrew Harris/WYDaily)
The entrance to The Spa of Colonial Williamsburg. (Andrew Harris/WYDaily)

What started out as a trip to the spa ended with a trip to urgent care for one Williamsburg woman– and now she’s suing Colonial Williamsburg for three-quarters of a million dollars as a result.

According to a lawsuit filed in Williamsburg-James City County Circuit Court Feb. 8, Erin Bucchignano has filed a lawsuit against Colonial Williamsburg Company and Colonial Williamsburg Foundation for personal injuries sustained during a visit to The Spa of Colonial Williamsburg on Nov. 2, 2015.

The suit claims Bucchignano was enjoying a spa day with a friend when the pair decided to visit the basement women’s Jacuzzi tub, located in the spa’s “hot lounge,” which was scheduled for renovation at the time.

Bucchignano claims while she was sitting in the tub, she moved her left leg and hit her toe on a “jagged” object inside the Jacuzzi. She lifted her leg and saw a “flap of skin ripped from her large left toe, along with a lot of blood,” the suit claims.

“She sustained serious and permanent traumatic injury as a patron,” the suit continues. “As a result of her injuries, Ms. Bucchignano was unable to participate and enjoy the remainder of her spa day.”

Colonial Williamsburg Foundation Public Relations Manager Joseph Straw said the foundation does not comment on pending lawsuits. The Colonial Williamsburg Company is the for-profit subsidiary of the foundation that operates hospitality and relaxation venues in support of the foundation, including the spa.

Bucchignano claims the spa’s staff did not have the proper response to an injured patron. She alleges she called for help from a spa attendant, who responded with an “ill-equipped” First Aid kit and the manger on duty was reluctant to respond to the issue. When the manager did arrive, Bucchignano claims she said she “did not see any broken bones” and did not appear concerned.

Colonial Williamsburg EMTs were called in to assist with the injury and advised Bucchignano to visit the urgent care facility MedicExpress, where she received five stitches and was given antibiotics for the laceration, the suit claims.

Since seeking initial treatment, Bucchignano claims she has suffered from complex regional pain syndrome, “a debilitating, permanent disorder due to permanent nerve damage,” the suit reads. The suit also claims Bucchignano suffers from depression as a result of chronic pain.

“[Bucchignano] suffered permanent physical and emotional injuries,” the suit reads. “She was caused to incur; and she will continue to incur in the future, expense related to her injuries.”

Bucchignano’s lawsuit demands $750,000 in compensatory damages in addition to court costs. She has requested a jury hear the case. According to court documents, the foundation denied negligence in the matter.

Gary Hagy, Environmental Health Manager for the Peninsula Health District, said the spa was inspected on Sep. 23 and Dec. 3, 2015.  No violations were found.

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