GRAPHIC: Lawsuit claims woman contracted flesh-eating bacteria at S.C. water park

Lawsuit claims woman contracted flesh-eating bacteria at S.C. water park

SURFSIDE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) – A woman claims in a lawsuit she has incurred over $1 million in medical bills after contracting a flesh-eating bacteria at a Grand Strand water park.

According to the lawsuit filed July 20, Beverly Lanham, who is from North Augusta, S.C., was at Wild Water & Wheels in Surfside Beach on June 17, 2017.

*WARNING: Some may find the pictures of Beverly Lanham’s condition disturbing.*

When a wave knocked her over, she alleges she scraped her arm on the bottom of the pool, allowing “one or more such organisms” to invade her body. This resulted in necrotizing fasciitis, which is commonly known as flesh-eating disease, to her right arm, the lawsuit states.

Lanham states in the suit she has undergone multiple surgeries, permanent disfigurement and ongoing serious pain.

“She’s probably going to be dealing with this for the rest of her life and is certainly going to be disfigured for the rest of her life,” Lanham’s attorney, Roy Willey, said.

The lawsuit states that because of the negligence of Wild Water & Wheels, the water in the wave pool was infested with infectious organisms.

“There was a release of emails from the Surfside Beach town administrator and other individuals at the town that indicated there had been a history of safety violations at this water park since 2015,” Willey said. “Some emails indicated the town administrator told the town safety officials to wait until off-season to contact the owner, Mark Lazarus, to wait to address those safety issues until after the summer season.”

A report by our newspaper partner, My Horry News, dated September 2017, shows the email chain was sent in August 2017.

The lawsuit seeks an unspecified amount in damages for the plaintiff’s personal injuries.

Owner Mark Lazarus said park representatives don’t comment on pending litigation.

Lazarus stated via email that the park has been in business for 29 years, “holds high standards for water quality,” and meets and exceeds all standards from the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control.

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