ARLINGTON, Texas (NewsNation Now) — The parents of a 3-year-old boy who died after allegedly contracting a brain-eating amoeba at a Texas splash pad filed a lawsuit Monday against the city.
“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.”
Bakari Williams passed away in a hospital Sept. 11 after allegedly contracting the amoeba at an Arlington, Texas, park.
“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.”
Arlington city officials announced last week human error might have played a role, admitting they found negligent gaps in conducting daily water tests.
The splash pad was open 100 days this year. No one tested the water on 64 of those days.
“A little chlorine and this child would have been here today,” said Stephen Stewart, the family’s attorney.
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 Tariq 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.”