Thousands of West Virginia residents visit water parks each year, and they rely on park operators to do all that they reasonably can to prevent accidents, injuries and illnesses. An 18-year-old Ohio woman lost her life after coming into contact with a deadly amoeba during a visit to a North Carolina waterpark in June 2016, and her family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the park seeking damages in excess of $1 million. According to reports, the lawsuit was filed in Columbus on June 19.
The woman became gravely ill shortly after visiting the park and died about a week after returning home and just three weeks after her high school graduation. She was exposed to the Naegleria fowleri amoeba after falling overboard during a whitewater rafting ride, according to reports. The organism thrives in fresh, warm water, and it can cause deadly brain infections when it enters the human body through the nose.
The family’s wrongful death lawsuit accused the water park involved of negligence, and it suggests that the tragedy could have been avoided if the water in the park had properly regulated and treated with chlorine. The lawsuit also claims that the water park should have done more to warn its visitors about the dangers posed by biological hazards such as the Naegleria fowleri.
Losing a loved one can be an emotionally devastating experience, and the scars left may be particularly deep when a child is killed. The law requires property owners to act responsibly and take all reasonable steps to protect visitors from illness and injury, and experienced personal injury attorneys may initiate premises liability lawsuits against them when they fail to meet this strict legal standard.