Bergener & Associates: Woman Who Almost Died After Contracting Hantavirus in June 2012 Seeks Compensation

Chino Hills mother who contracted hantavirus in Yosemite Valley seeks compensation for her injuries from the Delaware North Company, the management firm responsible for maintaining the park's hospitality services. Court documents filed by her personal injury attorneys with Mariposa Superior Court allege that the company was previously warned of dangerous conditions that could lead to an outbreak, but did nothing to prevent it.

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Cathy Carrillo contracted the hantavirus while staying at Yosemite Valley's Curry Village.

The attorneys allege that the management company was repeatedly warned of the potential deadly risk to Curry Village residents but made no effort to repair or replace the defective tents until the 2012 fatalities.

Newport Beach, CA (PRWEB) May 09, 2013

According to court documents, when Cathy Carrillo of Chino Hills and her family vacationed in Yosemite National Park in June of 2012, what should have been a fun trip turned into a nightmare after she contracted the deadly hantavirus. Two days after returning home the mother began experiencing flu-like symptoms including chills and a fever. When the illness escalated, she was admitted to the hospital where hantavirus was diagnosed.

Mrs. Carrillo remained in intensive care for three weeks, followed by ten days in rehab. According to documents filed with the Mariposa Court, almost a year later, she still suffers from exhaustion and diminished lung capacity; her attorneys claim that in all likelihood, she will never fully recover from the damage caused by the dangerous virus. Her family has incurred over $500,000 in medical bills, and can expect some longterm future expenses.

Mrs. Carrillo’s personal injury attorneys Mark Algorri of Dewitt Algorri & Algorri and James M. Bergener of Bergener & Associates allege that Mrs. Carrillo’s experience was a direct result of negligence by the Delaware North Company, the hospitality management company in charge of the hospitality services within Yosemite National Park. According to a January 25th complaint filed with the Mariposa Superior Court, case number 10302, the premium tent cabins in Yosemite Valley’s Curry Village, “were in a defective and dangerous condition, with no warning given, so as to cause [Mrs. Carrillo] to contract hantavirus.” The Delaware North Company is named the defendant in the case.

According to the CDC website, hantavirus is transmitted by infected rodents, usually by way of their urine and droppings. The virus from the animal waste becomes airborne, allowing it to be breathed in by humans. After an investigation into the outbreak, the CDC concluded in September 2012 that during the summer season, a total of ten visitors to Yosemite National Park contracted the disease. Three of the victims passed away as a result. The agency went on to write that, "public health officials believe that 9 of the 10 people with confirmed hantavirus infection were exposed to the virus while staying at the Signature Tent Cabins in Curry Village."

According to the Yosemite Park accommodations website, at the time of Mrs. Carrillo’s stay, the Curry Village tent cabins were constructed with double-walls and insulation between the two layers. Mice and other rodents allegedly lived and defecated in high numbers within the insulation. The website says that following the 2012 hantavirus outbreak, all of the Signature Tent Cabins were replaced by those with a single-wall design.

In the January 25 complaint filed with the Superior Court of California in Mariposa, case number 10302, Mrs. Carrillo’s lawyers claim that the Delaware North Company, “knew and had been told by [...] both state and federal authorities and others, that the tent cabins posed an extremely high risk of hanta virus exposure to lodgers due to their design, construction, and maintenance before the subject incident; yet [Delaware North] failed to remedy the situation or even warn of the same.” The attorneys allege that the management company was repeatedly warned of the potential deadly risk to Curry Village residents but made no effort to repair or replace the defective tents until the 2012 fatalities.

According to the filed court document, by not acting, "[Delaware North] concealed this information from [Mrs. Carrillo], and misled her about the safety of the tent cabins in an effort to save money and make profit at the expense of human safety." The Delaware North Company is a global hospitality management company, with locations in the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia. On the company's website it says the firm earns more than $2 billion in annual revenue.

On behalf of Mrs. Carrillo, the attorneys have filed a suit against the Delaware North Company for $3.5 million. Mrs. Carrillo’s personal injury team are confident that they can secure this sum from the defendant in the case for her past expenses, future medical costs, and pain and suffering. The scheduling conference to move the case forward is set for July 23rd in the U.S. District Court in Fresno.

In the meantime, the California lawyers say they are supportive of the measures Delaware North Company and Yosemite National Park have recently taken to prevent similar outbreaks among future park visitors.

Bergener & Associates is a personal injury law firm serving accident victims throughout California. The firm has collected over $40 million in settlements and verdicts for clients and their families. Specialties include car accidents, motorcycle accidents, semi-truck accidents, dog bites, slip and falls, and other personal injury claims. For a free legal consultation call 1-800-881-2021 today.


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Personal Injury Lawyer James Bergener

California Injury Attorney