Father of Boy who Died from Brain-Eating Amoeba Appeals Lawsuit Dismissal

July 19, 2016 10:58 PM

The father of a boy who died of a rare brain infection after swimming in a Stillwater lake is continuing his fight against the city despite a judge dismissing his lawsuit.

Nine-year-old Jack Ariola Erenberg died from an amoebic brain infection in August 2012 after swimming in Lily Lake, which is owned and operated by the city of Stillwater. He was the second child to contract the fatal infection from swimming at the public swimming beach; a 7-year-old girl also died in 2010.


Jack’s dad, James Ariola, sued the city of Stillwater, claiming wrongful death, but a Washington County judge dismissed the lawsuit in April, saying there’s no evidence that city officials could have known about amoebas in the water.

James Ariola’s attorneys have now appealed the judge’s dismissal.

The infection primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM), which led to Jack’s death, is a rare and severe brain infection caused by an amoeba commonly found in freshwater. In rare cases, the amoeba can infect people by entering the body through the nose when they’re swimming or diving into warm freshwater.


Jennie Lissarrague

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