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Woman Sues Yosemite National Park for Hantavirus

After contracting the deadly hantavirus while visiting Yosemite National Park, a California woman is now suing for $3 million. This woman was one of ten people who contracted this illness. Hantavirus is carried in mice droppings, urine and saliva and is carried when humans come into contact with it. Out of the ten people who contracted the illness, three died.

This lawsuit was filed recently against Delaware North Company, the company in charge of maintaining Yosemite National Park. The lawsuit alleges that the woman now suffers from reduced lung capacity and low energy levels. She claims over $500,000 in medical bills.

The woman's attorney claims Delaware North was negligent because, knowing of the disease, they did nothing about it. Hantavirus dates back to 2008, but Delaware North did nothing to warn park visitors of the threat and also did nothing to eradicate the park of potentially disease-carrying particles.

Although the company has not yet responded to the lawsuit, they did comment on their new single-walled tents. Apparently, the deer mice hid in double-walled tents because they liked the insulation. With single-walled tents, there will be less disease carrying mice.

This lawsuit will hinge upon numerous issues, most importantly if the defendant who maintained the park and tents has prior knowledge of the dangerous mice/infestation condition that existed at the campsite. A defendant must have had notice of a dangerous condition prior to the occurrence of the incident. The reasoning behind prior notice is that a defendant cannot be held responsible for a condition that it did not or could not have known about or a condition that suddenly arose which was not created by the defendant.

If it can be proven that the company that maintained the tents and campsite had prior notice of the hazardous conditions at the campsite but failed to rectify and clean up the condition, this lawsuit has a very high likelihood of success.

Categories: Personal Injury


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