Lawsuit settled in Texas child's brain-eating amoeba death

Posted at 1:26 PM, Mar 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-31 14:27:46-04

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — A Texas city has settled a lawsuit with the parents of a 3-year-old boy who died last September after being infected with a rare brain-eating amoeba that was found at a splash pad he’d visited.

The Arlington City Council approved a $250,000 settlement Tuesday with the parents of Bakari Williams. He died Sept. 11 after being hospitalized with primary amebic meningoencephalitis, a rare and typically fatal infection caused by the naegleria fowleri amoeba.

The city said that as part of the settlement, it will invest in health and safety improvements, including technology to automatically shut off splash pads where water readings aren’t in acceptable ranges. Also, QR codes will allow visitors to see current information about water quality.

After Bakari’s death, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found the amoeba in water samples collected from the city splash pad Bakari visited.

City officials have said records from two of its four splash pads, including the one Bakari visited, showed employees didn’t consistently record, or in some cases didn’t conduct, the water quality testing required prior to the facilities opening each day.

The lawsuit said city employees “failed to adequately monitor and chlorinate the city’s splash pad water, making the splash pad unreasonably dangerous.”