White Water and E. coli O157:H7
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, The Cooper Firm represented clients whose children had been sickened by bacterial contamination at the local and very popular White Water waterpark. Discovery in the case showed that White Water did not put enough chlorine in its pool to kill bacteria in the kiddie pools. One of those bacteria, E. coli O157:H7 is particularly harmful to children, and can cause hemolytic uremic syndrome (“HUS”), which in turn can destroy a child’s kidneys. The Firm’s discovery further showed that White Water was measuring its chlorine levels right next to the spot where the chlorine dumped into the pool. Not surprisingly, the chlorine levels seemed to appear normal—for a few minutes. However, farther out, they were not, and that, coupled with too much kiddie urine—which binds up the chlorine molecules—left the chlorine levels much too low.
The Cooper Firm reached appropriate settlements on behalf of its clients. And, in so doing, helped raise pool safety awareness all over Georgia. The publicity from the lawsuits motivated Georgia pool owners to redouble their pool safety efforts, as reported in the Atlanta Journal Constitution. The Complaint used by The Cooper Firm became a model complaint, and was used later in the advanced premises liability section of a local author’s treatise on premises liability. The Cooper Firm worked closely with some of the best foodborne illness experts in the United States.
Lance Cooper has handled other foodborne cases as well, including Hepatitis A cases against Schlotzky’s Deli. On its own, and with Patrick Dawson, who is Of Counsel to The Cooper Firm and a former clinical microbiologist in the United States Air Force, The Cooper Firm is uniquely qualified and experienced to handle foodborne illness cases that involve communicable diseases, E. coli, Listeria species, Campylobacter species, Noroviruses, Cryptosporidium species, Toxoplasma species, Salmonella species, Vibrio species, Clostridium species, Hepatitis A and other such viruses, Staphylococcus species, and various others.
by Patrick Dawson