Lawsuit filed Over Yosemite Hantavirus Incident

Photo courtesy of the Mariposa Gazette


The fallout from last summer's hantavirus outbreak is continuing as a woman sickened by the mousebourne illness seeks $3.25 million from Park concessioner DNC Parks and Resorts at Yosemite.

The lawsuit, filed in Mariposa Superior Court in January, has since been reassigned to United States District Court in Fresno. The first court date is a May 30 scheduling conference. Judge Sheila K. Oberto is assigned to the case.

According to attorney Mark Algorri, Cathy Carrillo of Chino contracted hantavirus while staying in a doublewalled Curry Village tent cabin in mid-June of last year.

The wife and mother fell ill in early July. She realized she was seriously ill around July 3, when she fainted while visiting the bathroom.

Attorney Carolyn Tan, who also represents Carrillo, said doctors put her client into a medicallyinduced coma from July 6 through 11. With the infection spread through her lungs, a ventilator was needed to help Carrillo breathe. Now 50 years old, the victim is left with diminished lung capacity, low energy, weakness in her left arm and thinning hair, Tan claimed.

Carrillo was treated at Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center and Casa Colina Centers for Rehabilitation. The bout with the virus has left her with medical bills that total close to a million dollars, Algorri said.

According to court documents, Carrillo seeks at least $750,000 in special damages and $2,500,000 in general damages.

"It's a very good case," attorney Algorri said. "She got it at the tent cabin. Rodent feces were found between the tent walls. It was a situation that (DNC) knew aboutso I think liability is pretty clear."

A search of news stories shows a mixed outcome for previous hantavirus-related litigation.

None of the instances precisely parallel Carrillo's Yosemite experience, however.

Read the full story at the Mariposa Gazette's website.

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