Family Sues Water Park After Woman Dies From Brain-Eating Amoeba

Eleven days after her visit, Seitz died.

According to the lawsuit, when the raft Seitz was in overturned, she was completely submerged in the water which exposed her to the Naeglweria fowleri amoeba.

The National Whitewater Center shut down several of its outdoor water attraction after they found evidence of the deadly bacteria.


North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services said at the time of her death that her "only known underwater exposure was believed to be when riding in a raft with several others that overturned at the U.S. National Whitewater Center in Charlotte".

The officials at Whitewater Center revealed that the deadly amoeba is often found in such environments during summer, but attorneys say they should have improved their filtering, since its presence in a water park makes infection more likely than in a natural environment.

Mitzi Kline, a spokeswoman for the Franklin County Department of Public Health Department in OH, confirmed the teen died from the brain-eating amoeba in a statement to PEOPLE last summer. In a statement to People past year, a spokeswoman for the Franklin County Department of Public Health Department in Ohio, Mitzi Kline, confirmed that Seitz died from exposure to the brain eating amoeba.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the amoeba, Naegleria fowleri is usually found in warm freshwater and soil. If it enters via the nose, then it can reach the brain easily, causing swelling then death. Symptoms associated with an amoeba infection include vomiting, seizures, hallucinations, and headaches.

Number of Case-reports of Naegleria fowleri infection in United States, 1962-2016. "Loss of balance" is another symptom.

"Our findings here are significant", Dr. Jennifer Cope, an infectious disease physician at the CDC, said at the time.

After Lauren Seitz, 18, died previous year of a brain-eating amoeba, her parents sued the water park where she contracted it-the U.S. National Whitewater Center in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The CDC collected "multiple positive samples" from the water park. It also grows in pipes but not salt water such as oceans. The federal lawsuit stated that the likelihood was higher for the teen and other guests at the water park to encounter the brain eating amoeba than if they had gone "rafting in the nearby Catawba River".

According to the suit filed on Seitz's first death anniversary, the Charlotte water park showed "conscious disregard for the safety of visitors", Charlotte Observer reported.

The lawsuit also claims the Whitewater Center failed to regulate the water temperature or warn visitors about possible danger of the amoeba. The lawsuit maintains that the water in the whitewater rafting area "was too shallow".

  • Joanne Flowers