A husband and father from Campbelltown, NSW is taking legal action against Fitness First Australia Pty Ltd for allegedly causing the skin cancer that nearly claimed his life last year. The case against Fitness First will be heard in the Supreme Court of NSW.
Jay Allen (pictured with his baby son Jaxon) is alleging that the solarium at Fitness First directly contributed to the Melanoma on his ankle, for which he underwent surgery and chemotherapy at RPA in 2008.
In September 2009, Jay Allen filed court papers alleging that the staff at Fitness First didn’t inform him of the risks when he used their solarium between 25 and 30 times over a period of 12 months.
“There’s a 75 percent increased risk of skin cancer if you use a solarium before the age of 35. But the staff at Fitness First didn’t inform me of the risks, and they didn’t monitor how often I used the solarium,” he said.
Now aged 35, Jay says he has instructed solicitor, Michael Malley, to sue Fitness First in the Supreme Court for his pain, suffering and losses such as medical bills and lost earnings.
“It’s not about the money, I want to warn people of the dangers of solariums, the dangers that the operators of the solarium I used didn’t warn me about.”
The father of three says he lives every day with the reality that there is a 65 percent chance his Melanoma could return in the form of secondary cancers within the next five years. For the next four years, he will visit RPA every 3 months to have chest x-rays and blood tests to check if the Melanoma has returned.
Since undergoing treatment for Melanoma, Jay Allen has become an outspoken campaigner against the use of solariums and has launched a website www.sunbedban.com to raise awareness of the campaign.
Jay says he is continuing the legacy of anti-solarium campaigner and melanoma sufferer Clare Oliver, whose dying wish was to have solariums banned.
“Unfortunately Clare wasn’t able to see her campaign through, melanoma claimed her life at age 26. With the help of other melanoma survivors, my family, friends, and the community, I’m fighting to have the original campaign to ban solarium use in Australia become a reality,” he said.
Jay Allen says he is determined to see the court case through to the end, not only for himself but for the thousands of other skin cancer victims who used a sunbed and have since passed away or are fighting for there lives, setting a precedent not only in Australia but around the world.
“If I don’t do anything about it, then who will?”
Photo credit: Macarthur Advertiser – 28 January 2009