Leaking Cesspool Blamed for Baby’s Death



Austin Personal Injury Lawyers

Austin Personal Injury Lawyers - Perlmutter & Schuelke, PLLC

Austin, TX (Law Firm Newswire) August 11, 2016 – Heather Heath had an E. coli infection that doctors delivering her baby could smell when her water broke. Her son died two hours after birth.

Heath’s son was delivered prematurely at 22-weeks-old. As it turned out, Heath had a bacterial infection of the uterus, resulting in her son contracting charioamnionitis, usually caused by E. coli. Heath and her husband filed a wrongful death lawsuit, seeking punitive damages and damages for the wrenching emotional distress of watching their son, Charles die. The suit was filed against the apartment complex they lived in, citing a leaking cesspool under the building as the source of Heath’s deadly infection.

The Heaths had lived in the Bellshire Apartments in Conroe, Texas since 2013. Hamilton Valley Management was supposed to manage the complex and Merced Housing was the listed owner of the building.

Heath started to get sick in 2015 and contracted a wide variety of diseases ranging from unexplained urinary tract infections to vomiting and diarrhea. Other residents of the complex also experienced serious health problems.

In November 2015, Heath discovered she was pregnant and became ill once again in February 2016. She was so sick that she was admitted to hospital with a raging fever causing doctors to induce labor.

According to the documents filed with the case, the Heaths alleged that the company taking care of their apartment complex did nothing about water contamination from a leaking cesspool, despite being told about it on numerous occasions. Court documents suggested that a plumber advised the management company and the owners in February 2015 that a cesspool under the building was contaminating the drinking water.

A proposal to correct the situation was allegedly submitted, but nothing was done with it and no work started. The petition also suggested that the water was currently still contaminated.

“From there on out the management company and building owners denied any liability and suggested the Heaths never mentioned their medical issues or the contaminated water to them,” outlined noted Austin personal injury attorney, Brooks Schuelke, of Perlmutter & Schuelke PLLC, not involved in the case.

This case revolves around the negligence on the part of the owners and management company in not dealing with the contaminated water from a cesspool leaking bacteria into the building’s drinking water. “It is likely to come down to finger-pointing, with the owners and building managers saying they knew nothing about any reports and the tenants never advised them and the tenants citing the plumbing company report and their litany of illnesses. Will they win? It is possible if the plumbing company can prove it not only provided a report on the leak but also submitted a plan to fix the issue,” said Schuelke.

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