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Amoeba Victim's Parents Reach Settlement

Louisiana residents who use over-the-counter medical products have a reasonable expectation that those items will be safe. That expectation includes information about the product's use, as some items require special precautions. Relatives of a man from St. Bernard Parish man who died from a brain-eating organism have now reached a settlement with the manufacturer of such a medical product. The man's parents had filed a wrongful death suit against the manufacturer of a device known as a neti pot, which uses water to flush out patients' sinuses. The suit also named the provider of the man's water heater in the suit. 

Even though the suit against the corporate entities has been settled, the man's family members are seeking further compensation from St. Bernard Parish, which they claim failed to provide safe, fresh water to the residents in the area.

News reports show that the parents claimed that the neti pot and defective water heater led to the man becoming infected with a rare amoeba. Most recently, a 4-year-old boy died because he ingested the same organism during an August trip to St. Bernard Parish. The victim in this suit, however, died in June 2011. Contaminated water also killed a 51-year-old woman in the area that year.

A doctor who treated the man said he believed the victim's brain infection was the result of neti pot use. Further evidence showed that the deadly organism was found in the home water heater. Still, state sources report that exposure to the organism generally occurs when victims have been swimming in freshwater lakes and rivers. The bacteria is so rare that it is unlikely to manifest in victims who have consumed heated tap water, according to research.

Still, the man's family members deserve answers and compensation in this case. Their son was just 28 when he died, causing severe emotional distress for his relatives. Victims who have been exposed to danger because of dangerous or malfunctioning products deserve remuneration for their injuries that were caused by company negligence.

Source:, "Settlement reached in suit over 2011 death of La. man infected by brain-eating amoeba" Michael Kunzelman, Oct. 29, 2013

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