Ariola Erenberg family plans to sue city, county, state

The family of Jack Ariola Erenberg, the 9-year-old who died in August after contracting naeglaria fowleri following a swim in Lily Lake is planning to sue the city of Stillwater, Washington County and the state for $1.5 million.

Jack’s father, Jim Ariola, has hired Scottsdale, Ariz., attorney Roger Strassburg, who specializes in wrongful death lawsuits involving children who have died from the amoeba in the past.

Strassburg called the death of Jack a tragedy.

The lawsuit is expected to be filed in 10th Judicial District Court and a Dec. 21 hearing is scheduled.

Strassburg said he plans to ask the judge to enter an injunction ordering the city to post signs on all swimming facilities like Lily Lake warning people about the amoeba and include a statement that the bodies of water aren’t chlorinated. They also plan to include an order to the city to construct a chlorinated swimming facility.

Jack Erenberg died on Aug. 6 after contracting primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM) after going swimming in Lily Lake. The lake was closed to swimmers the day after his death.

Jack Erenberg was the second child to contract the disease in Lily Lake. Seven-year-old Annie Bahneman was confirmed to have died from PAM two years ago.

The amoeba is found in warm freshwater and PAM is contracted after it travels through a swimmer’s nose to their brain.

City Attorney David Magnuson has said the city has turned the claim notice over to its attorneys at the League of Minnesota Cities.