E. Coli From Cesspool|Blamed in Baby’s Death

     (CN) – A Texas woman claims in court that her 22-week-old son died because the company in charge of her apartment complex failed to do anything about contamination from a leaking cesspool.
     Heather Heath, and her husband Kenneth, filed the petition in Montgomery County Court after she became so sick that doctors were forced to prematurely deliver her 22-week-old son, Charles.
     “As Heather’s water broke, Doctors stated they could smell the infection,” the petition says.
     Heather had an E. coli infection, the petition says, which she had contracted from water the cesspool began leaching contaminates into the environment.
     Her son contracted charioamnionitis, a bacterial infection in the uterus that is commonly caused by E. coli infections, the medical examiner said.
     “Recognizing the severity of his condition, Doctors wrapped baby Charles in a blanket and left the room so plaintiffs could be alone with their son,” the petition says.
     Charles died just two hours after birth, according to the petition.
     The Heaths moved into the Bellshire Apartments complex in December 2013. It is located in Conroe, a city just north of Houston. Merced Housing Texas owned and Hamilton Valley Management managed the complex, according to the petition. Both are Texas companies.
     The Heaths began to get sick in June 2015 with what the petition described as “various illnesses”: vomiting, diarrhea and urinary tract infections. According to the suit, other residents had similar health issues.
     Heather learned she was pregnant in November 2015, and once again became ill in February 2016. She was hospitalized with a scorching fever, the petition states, and doctors were forced to induce labor.
     Also in February, a plumbing company allegedly told Merced and Hamilton that a cesspool beneath the complex had contaminated the drinking water with E. coli.
     The plumbing company submitted a detailed proposal to fix the problem, the petition says, yet Merced and Hamilton did nothing and “… the contamination persists to this day.”
     The Heaths seek damages under Texas’s wrongful death statute, punitive damages, and damages for emotional distress over witnessing the death of their son.
     Danna Hoover, vice president at Hamilton Valley Management, said he’s read the petition and that, while it sounded very tragic, he denies the company was ever given a report or advisory about an E coli. contamination from a plumbing company, nor a plan to mitigate it.
     He also said the petitioners have since moved out of the apartment complex and did not alert management to any persistent illnesses or contaminated water.

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