On June 19, the family of an 18-year-old girl filed a lawsuit against a North Carolina outdoor recreational park after she contracted meningoencephalitis and died. This disease is caused by the Naegleria fowleri amoeba, an organism that eats brain tissue.
The Naegleria fowleri amoeba is commonly found in warm, fresh water. Generally, the amoeba does not cause illness and cannot infect a person if it is accidentally swallowed or drunk. In order to cause harm, the amoeba must enter the body through the nose.
According to the lawsuit, the 18-year-old Ohio girl visited the whitewater center on a trip to the state. It was believed that she contracted the amoeba while whitewater rafting at the park. She died approximately one week after returning from the trip and about three weeks after having graduated from high school. The family claimed that the whitewater center failed in its duties to appropriately chlorinate the water, regulate its temperature and warn guests of the potential hazard.
If a loved one dies after contracting a fatal disease at a tourist attraction, the family may potentially have the ability to seek adequate compensation for their loss. In many cases, the claim may be bolstered if there is evidence that the liable party was negligent by failing to mitigate or address the hazards that led to the family member’s death. A wrongful death attorney may assist with seeking recovery for a variety of damages. In this case, the surviving family members are seeking more than $1 million in punitive damages. The attorney can describe what may or may not be allowable.
Source: CBS News, “Family files lawsuit over brain-eating amoeba death“, June 20, 2017