Lake Elsinore Amoeba Too...
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Lake Elsinore Amoeba Too...

  1. #1
    C-2 is offline
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    Dec 2007

    Default Lake Elsinore Amoeba Too...

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    Family files $1.3 million claim against Lake Elsinore in son's parasite death

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    07:53 PM PST on Tuesday, February 3, 2009

    The Press-Enterprise

    The family of a Lake Elsinore boy who died last summer from a rare amoebic parasite has filed an estimated $1.3 million claim against Riverside County and the city of Lake Elsinore.
    Josue Montes, 9, died Aug. 2 from the microscopic parasite Naegleria fowleri, which thrives in warm freshwater lakes. The infection typically enters the body through the nose while a person is swimming.
    In their claim, Josue's parents, Mehchsac and Adela Montes, said their son became infected while swimming in Lake Elsinore. They state in their claim that Lake Elsinore and the county are responsible for Josue's death because they did not warn people of the risk of contracting Naegleria fowleri and dying from swimming in the lake.
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    The Monteses are seeking almost $103,000 in medical bills, $3,500 in funeral expenses, $1,100 in out-of-pocket expenses and $1.2 million in "general damages."
    The Monteses couldn't be reached for comment.
    No warnings
    Public health officials have not identified the lake as the source for the boy's infection.
    The couple's Santa Ana attorney, Edoardo Salvatore, said there were no warnings about the amoeba at the lake or recreation center.
    "This family lost a child," he said. "We'll see what we can do for them."
    Lake Elsinore spokesman Mark Dennis said the city's claim adjuster is reviewing the matter. It could take up to 30 days before the adjuster offers the City Council a recommendation, Dennis said.
    Lake not tested
    Barbara Cole, the Riverside County Department of Public Health's disease control director, said no one tested the lake for the amoeba after the boy's death because officials weren't confident they would get accurate results. Lake conditions could have changed between the time the boy went swimming and tests were performed, she said. Officials also didn't know which sections to test.
    County spokesman Ray Smith said administrators are reviewing the claim.
    Josue's was the only person in 2008 to die from the amoeba infection. Arleen Porcell-Pharr, spokeswoman for the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, said her agency didn't receive any other reports last year.
    After Josue's death, county public health officials said he had swum in Lake Elsinore several times during the summer. They didn't know whether he got the parasite from the lake or some other place where he might have swam.
    In their claim, the Monteses said they sought treatment for their son July 30 at Inland Valley Medical Center in Wildomar.
    Brain infected
    After entering the body through the nose, the parasite infects the brain and spinal cord. Symptoms include headache, fever, nausea, vomiting and stiff neck.
    When infection occurs, it almost always results in death, according to the CDC.
    Although the amoeba itself is common in warm, fresh bodies of water, infections are very rare and occur mainly during the summer months. Health officials say people always should assume there is some risk of infection when they enter any warm freshwater lakes, hot springs or rivers.
    There were 33 cases reported in the United States from 1998 through 2007. Six deaths were reported in 2007.
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  3. #2
    Floatin dirty Lavey29's Avatar
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    I guess the puke green water looked very inviting to let thier kid go swim in. I feel sorry for their loss but do not condone the basis for this suit. If you swim in the ocean and meet up with jaws, the city, county or state is not responsible. Unless, they know for a fact that there is an existing serious health danger and or other high risk ongoing problem there then appropriate warnings should be in place.
    Last edited by Lavey29; 02-04-2009 at 06:34 AM.

  4. #3
    Nine pieces of Eight OCMerrill's Avatar
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    Dec 2007
    Mission Viejo, CA


    If the family wins it could change boating and swimming in lakes forever. What municipality would endure the risk of a huge lawsuit?

    Laveycraft 20.8 Sebring, Jeep Rubicon Unlimited, and no cash left.

  5. #4
    Wet is offline
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    Dec 2007
    East Hampton, CT


    This is the reason we have so many laws and signs and warnings.

    The couple's Santa Ana attorney, Edoardo Salvatore, said there were no warnings about the amoeba at the lake or recreation center.

    Warnings are posted for most prevalent dangers like drowning, undertows, shallow rocks, etc, not for freak occurences. The risk of getting hit by a boat or skiier is high, but you don't see signs warning of it. Of the millions upon millions of people who went swimming last year...7 died from this. Sorry for the loss, I don't wish that on anyone, but the money won't change anything, it's just financial securement and laying blame to a faceless entity who they think should be held responsible.

  6. #5
    Senior Member westair's Avatar
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    Dec 2007


    They don't even know if he was infected in that lake.

  7. #6
    I'm on a BOAT DEBBOLAS's Avatar
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    Dec 2007
    Southern California


    Is anyone surprised by this?
    That lake is sooooo gross

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