Family of teen killed by brain-eating amoeba from whitewater rafting settles lawsuit

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(WCMH) – Nearly three years after a Westerville, Ohio teen died after contracting a brain-eating amoeba, court documents show her family has settled with the US National Whitewater Center in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Lauren Seitz died on June 19, 2016 from meningoencephalitis, a disease caused by the amoeba Naegleria fowleri.

Eleven days before, she had visited the Whitewater Center with a group from Messiah United Methodist Church. Her group traveled from Ohio to West Virginia and North Carolina, singing at churches and nursing homes.

According to a lawsuit filed in 2018, Seitz contracted the amoeba while whitewater rafting at the US National Whitewater Center. She was thrown overboard, causing her nose and head to go completely under water.

Three days after returning home, the lawsuit says she began complaining about sinus congestion. Two days later, she was hospitalized.

The lawsuit claims the Whitewater Center failed to properly chlorinate the water, failed to properly regulate the temperature of the water and failed to warn visitors about the possible danger of the amoeba.

According to the lawsuit, chlorine levels at the facility were ten times lower than they should have been.
The lawsuit also claims the facility used an inadequate filter system.

The plaintiffs asked for more than $450,000 in damages, as well as punitive damages of more than $1 million.

According to a mediation report filed in the United States District Court Western District of North Carolina, the case has been completely settled. A settlement agreement will be filed with the court within 30 days.

The terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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