ARLINGTON, Texas (NewsNation Now) — The parents of a 3-year-old boy who died after contracting a brain-eating amoeba filed a lawsuit Monday. They say their son contracted the amoeba at a Texas splash pad.
Bakari Williams passed away in the hospital on Sept. 11 after contracting the amoeba in Arlington. City officials announced last week human error might have played a role, admitting they found negligent gaps in conducting daily water tests at the splash pad.
The splash pad was open 100 days this year. No one tested the water on 64 of those days, officials said.
“A little chlorine and this child would have been here today,” said Stephen Stewart, the family’s attorney.
“Bakari was a loving, energetic, passionate, sweet, beautiful, innocent boy,” said Tariq Williams, the boy’s father. “He didn’t deserve to die in this manner.”
“He started off with a high fever,” said Kayla Mitchell, the boy’s mother. “It was like 102, pushing 103. And then from there, he didn’t want to eat, he didn’t want to drink. … We had to kind of basically help him go to the bathroom, because he was too weak to stand up.”
The family is asking for more than $1 million in damages. The city has 20 days to respond to the lawsuit.
“For us, this case is about public awareness,” said Williams. “The last thing that we want is for anyone else and their family to have to feel and go through what we are going through at this time.”