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Family seeks $1 million after waterborne disease kills daughter

When people in Maryland visit a water park to have some fun, they likely lack awareness of the risk of infection by a microorganism. A wrongful death lawsuit brought forward by the family of a young woman who died after becoming infected with a brain-eating amoeba at an outdoor recreational park includes the accusation that visitors were not made fully aware of the risks.

The 18-year-old victim allegedly contracted meningoencephalitis after falling out of a whitewater raft at the park. The amoeba Naegleria fowleri causes the disease, and it harms people when it enters the body through the nose. She died in June 2016 a little over a week after returning from her vacation, which included a trip to the water park.

Although the Naegleria fowleri amoeba commonly lives in warm, fresh water, infections among humans are rare. According to court filings, the family is accusing the park operator of failing to chlorinate and regulate the temperature of the water sufficiently. They are seeking punitive damages of over $1 million.

When they're successful, wrongful death claims might also include compensation for funeral expenses, medical bills related to rescue efforts and lost income. Someone who lost a loved one due to negligence could discuss the case with an attorney to learn about the potential viability of a lawsuit. A lawyer might be able to collect evidence by consulting with independent accident investigators and medical experts and then submit the proof of negligence with the court filing. A lawsuit could name the responsible party and an insurer if any policies apply to the situation. An attorney may also explain to a deceased person's loved ones what level of compensation might be recoverable and help them navigate the legal system.

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