Connecticut YMCA Camp Sued After Camper Contracts Lyme Disease

Camp Mohawk in Litchfield, Conn., is being sued after a 14-year-old girl contracted Lyme disease at the YMCA-run camp. Ticks at the camp bit Ariana Sierzputowski, who was 14 at the time, in 2011. According to the lawsuit, the girl repeatedly visited the camp nurse and complained of a variety of symptoms consistent with Lyme disease. She now suffers a variety of injuries, including memory loss and migratory joint, muscle and nerve pain, burning sensations in her skin, arthritis, muscle spasms, nausea, dizziness and difficulty breathing, according to the family’s attorney.  

The family alleges that the girl “was never told to wear tick-protective clothing nor was she consistently instructed to use insect repellant when she and other campers left the immediate camp space for areas likely to have the infectious deer ticks.” The handbook for the camp promised that they would take precautions to protect campers from deer ticks. The family is seeking $41.7 million in damages.  

Interestingly, the parents chose to sue the camp for failing to monitor the safety of their daughter, rather than suing the camp nurse for failing to diagnose her. Their Connecticut personal injury attorney contends that “even a one-minute exam, after Ariana complained of a variety of symptoms, would have shown she needed immediate medical attention.”  

But, according to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms of Lyme disease are often found in a variety of other conditions, so it can be difficult to diagnose. Only about 50 percent of Lyme disease patients present with the telltale bull’s-eye rash and the early flu-like symptoms can be confused with a variety of other illnesses.

There was a short-lived vaccine available for Lyme disease in the early 2000s, but it was voluntarily withdrawn from the market after a class-action lawsuit regarding safety concerns.  

If you’ve been injured due to negligence, contact the personal injury attorneys at The Pickel Law Firm. We take pride in offering aggressive, quality representation from the first meeting and we offer free consultations for personal injury cases.