Lush cosmetics factory in talks to avoid nuisance lawsuit

By Deanna Utroske contact

- Last updated on GMT

Lush cosmetics factory in talks to avoid nuisance lawsuit
Residents of Toronto, Ontario, have been complaining about the strong scent of a nearby Lush Cosmetics factory for years, and some believe the facility is to blame for headaches, migraines, and skin irritation.   

The manufacturing plant has been operating in the Etobicoke neighborhood of Toronto for three years. And, local residents there are increasingly frustrated with its impact on their quality of life.

“Joanne Currie…and other residents have been complaining to the city and the Ministry of Environment about the soapy situation since 2014,”​ reports Luke Simcoe for thestar.com. “Now they’re considering taking their concerns into the courtroom.”

Concerns

Local people describe the smell coming from the Lush factory as overwhelming. “We can’t open our windows in the summer,” ​Currie tells the press.

And it’s much more than a smell according to Phil Trotter, the lawyer representing the residents, “People say they can’t even have a barbecue outside because if they’re eating steak it tastes like soap,” ​(as thestar.com reports).

Other anecdotes suggest that Lush factory emissions are causing headaches, migraines, and hives among Etobicoke residents.

Legal options

The Lush Cosmetics factory seems to be complying with municipal bylaws and applicable environmental regulations, Trotter tells the press.

Nonetheless, “the common law of nuisance applies … as long as there’s interference with someone’s reasonable use of their property.”

Good news for Lush: a legal battle isn’t the complaining residents’ goal. “I hope we can find a resolution that doesn’t involve anything legal,” ​Currie tells thestar.com. “We really just want the smell to stop.”

Talking it out

The company has acknowledged the residents’ complaints and is, apparently, sympathetic to their concerns.

A spokesperson for Lush was in touch with thestar.com. “Brandi Halls said the company is aware of the problem and met with affected residents last week,” ​reports Simcoe.

Halls explains that Lush has, over the past year “[reduced] sound and scent from escaping the building,” ​taken steps that include “further sealing of the building and relocation of one… production ranges.”

Additionally Lush Cosmetics is “in the process of identifying and reviewing additional options allowing us to further reduce any impact on our neighbours,” ​Halls says.

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