The mother of a boy who died from a bacterial infection on the Splash Pad is suing the city.
The parents of 6-year-old Josiah Castillo, who died after contracting deadly bacteria from a Lake Jackson well, have filed a lawsuit against the city and the Brazosport Water Authority alleging negligence in testing and proper treatment the water supply claimed. Castillo fell ill after his grandparents took him to the Splash Pad operated by the City of Lake Jackson. Shortly afterwards, he complained of a severe headache, nausea and vomiting.
Castillo was taken to the University of Texas Medical Department Hospital at Angleton. He died on September 8 after doctors could not determine exactly what was causing the boy's illness. Tests by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) later found Naegleria fowleri, a deadly amoeba, in the well's storage tank.
"The city, based on the known use that people used (the well) for, had an obligation to keep the water properly chlorinated to keep the children out there safe and they didn't," said Will Langley, an attorney for the family.
Photo by Frank McKenna on Unsplash
The deadly bacteria tend to infect people when contaminated water enters the nervous system via the nasal airways, according to the CDC. Then it quickly gets to the brain and can lead to primary amoebic meningoencephalitis, a rare and serious disease, or it can be fatal.
Maria Castillo, Josiah's mother, filed the lawsuit to raise awareness of the presence of this amoeba so that other cities can keep their residents safe by maintaining their water supplies. She is filing for $ 1 million in damages and is going to court.
"I want to make (the amoeba) realize how real it is and how quickly your life can change," said Castillo. "If I have to sit there and watch my son refuse because we don't know what's going on, I don't want other parents or family members to go through that."
Sherri Russell, the Lake Jackson town attorney, replied, “It was a tragic child death. We'll look at (the lawsuit) and see how we want to go about it. "
Lake Jackson and all cities served by the Brazosport Water Authority started boiling water after learning of the deadly bacteria. The lawsuit suggests that city officials and the water authority “should be aware of an increased risk of Naegleria fowleri infection after the Brazos River Authority issued a warning on May 26 that rising temperatures and water conditions in the area's lakes and rivers were for the spread of the disease that causes it. "
It goes on to say: “The fountain, built in 1999, was not originally designed as a splash guard for children, but as an interactive decoration that is timed to match the music. When this function failed, the city advertised it as a splash guard and realized that the water needed to be chlorinated as a result. But the city did not set a chlorination schedule and no record was kept of when the well was last treated "before Castillo died.
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