Brain Eating Amoeba: Family Files Lawsuit Over Teen’s Death

One year after a teenager died over a deadly amoeba, Lauren Seitz’s family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the waterpark.

One June 19th, 18-year-old Lauren Seitz was exposed to Naegleria floweri, an amoeba that can cause a rare but deadly brain infection. The lawsuit claims that the water park, US National Whitewater Center, and the construction company, Recreation Engineering and Planning Inc., Were negligent and reckless and as a result should be held accountable for the young teenager’s brain infection.

CNN reports, Seitz was a high school graduate from Ohio. She was on a music tour with several members of her church, Church of the Messiah. During their trip, the group stopped at US National Whitewater Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. During their stay at the water park, Seitz and her friend went whitewater rafting when the raft flipped, allowing the deadly amoeba to travel up her nose and to her brain, according to the lawsuit.

Seitz returned to Ohio where she became ill where physicians diagnosed her with an amoeba infection. She would die 11 days after her whitewater trip.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and prevent, amoebas are commonly found in freshwater and soil. The organism enters through the nose and travels to the brain, where it causes cerebral swelling and ultimately death. Symptoms associated with an amoeba infection include vomiting, seizures, hallucinations, and headaches.

The CDC also reported water samples collected from the whitewater center shortly after her death tested positive for Naegleria flowers, CNN reports.

“Lauren and other visitors had a higher likelihood of encountering Naegleria fowleri in the unregulated waters of the U.S. National Whitewater Center than they did by simply rafting in the nearby Catawba River,” the lawsuit says.

Moreover, the lawsuit claims the center failed to adequately chlorinate the water or train their employees on the proper ways to regulate the water and ultimately showcased “a conscious disregard for the safety of its visitors, including Lauren,” the lawsuit says.