PITTSBURGH — A man is suing Pittsburgh’s Kennywood amusement park after he says he contracted an eye-eating parasite at the popular Raging Rapids ride.
Robert and Krystsina Trostle claim they rode the Raging Rapids ride in Pennsylvania on July 2, 2017, and days later, Robert had severe pain in his left eye and was diagnosed with microsporidia keratitis, CBS Pittsburgh reports.
“We’re certain that this is the cause. There was no other explanation. Water from this ride shot into his eye, which is part of this ride, the excitement and the fun of the ride,” said attorney Alan Perer, who is representing the Trostles.
They allege in the lawsuit it was caused by the microsporidia parasite that was present in the water.
“The water shot into his eye, and almost immediately thereafter, he started having these problems,” said Perer.
Robert Trostle claims his eye became inflamed, and he was diagnosed with acute conjunctivitis. His symptoms worsened, and on July 14 he says he was diagnosed with microsporidia keratitis.
According to Perer, Robert had surgery to remove the parasite that was eating away at his cornea.
“The parasite is still there. It doesn’t get completely rid of it. So that’s the problem we’re dealing with now,” said Perer.
According to Perer, Robert is back to work now, but still having pain and vision problems.
“He’s in banking and works a lot using computers, obviously with his job. So, it’s a problem for him,” said Perer.
Kennywood issued a statement to CBS Pittsburgh which in part said safety is the amusement park’s top priority and that it follows all regulations required by the state department of agriculture.
“Ensuring the safety of our Guests and Team Members is our top priority in everything that we do here at Kennywood. That attention extends to care and maintenance of rides and water used in rides,” the statement read. “We follow all regulations required by the Pennsylvania State Department of Agriculture … and often go above and beyond what is required by state law.”
The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture — which is responsible for inspecting and certifying rides in the state, according to Kennywood — issued a statement saying that the water quality in rides is the responsibility of the ride operator.
“Water quality in rides is not the responsibility of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, which is expressly written in state law,” the statement read. “Water quality is the responsibility of the ride/attraction operator (first and foremost) and the appropriate Department of Health (county or state). Our ride safety staff were notified of the situation, reviewed the details, and determined that it is not our jurisdiction.”
Finally, the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) told CBS Pittsburgh that the incident “was reported to the Health Department during the summer. ACHD notified the Pa. Department of Health, the Pa. Department of Agriculture and the CDC, and assisted them with the investigation. At this time, the investigation is still ongoing, and no further information is available.”
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