A Pennsylvania man is suing a Pittsburgh amusement park for negligence after contracting a parasite that continues to eat away at his eye, which he claims came from dirty water at one of the park’s rides.
According to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Robert Trostle and his wife Krystsina filed the lawsuit against Kennywood Entertainment, alleging the water surrounding the Raging Rapids ride was “dirty, stagnant and sludge-like.” The lawsuit says the couple noticed this while standing in line for the ride, which simulates a white-water rafting expedition, on July 2. They also observed that the waterfall at the ride was not operating, the lawsuit says, according to the Tribune-Review.
Mr. Trostle claims he was splashed by the dirty water in his left eye toward the end of the ride. His eye became inflamed and he sought medical attention as his condition worsened. On July 5 a doctor treated him with antibiotics for acute conjunctivitis, but his condition continued to deteriorate.
A week after his initial treatment doctors properly diagnosed him with microsporidia keratitis, a parasite found in dirty water, soil, HVAC units, and other sources. Infection can be caused when contaminated liquid enters the eye through small scrapes made by contact lenses or other eye injuries.
“Robert had to undergo an extremely painful surgery where the parasite was scraped out of the eye with a surgical scalpel, and he was required to remain in a dark room for the next two days,” the lawsuit says, according to the Tribune-Review. “The microsporidia parasite penetrated the second level of Robert’s eye and the entirety of the parasite was unable to be removed via surgery.”
According to the complaint, Mr. Trostle continues to suffer from inflammation, blurry vision, redness and pain.
A lawyer representing the Trostles told the Tribune-Review that the Allegheny County Health Department took samples from the water at the Kennywood ride for testing, but the agency has not disclosed the results to anyone, even after a Right To Know request was filed in the fall.
“That’s one of the reasons we filed suit,” the Trostles’ lawyer told the Tribune-Review. “We need more information. But we’re virtually certain this is how he got the parasite.”
The Trostles seek $35,000 in damage, alleging that Kennywood failed its responsibility to properly maintain the ride and water filtration system.