WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A Wichita-based injury law firm, Patterson Legal Group, filed a lawsuit in Sedgwick County District Court Tuesday representing people impacted at the Tanganyika Falls Splash Park at Tanganyika Wildlife Park.
Several families said their children became sick after visiting the site. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment said it became aware of the illnesses on Friday, June 18, and began investigating the same day. Tanganyika voluntarily closed the splash park on Saturday after learning of the illnesses.
In a news release Tuesday, Coleman Younger, an attorney with Patterson Legal Group stated, “Many children and adults were unknowingly exposed to a pathogen and have suffered violent periods of illness.”
The lawsuit filed by the legal firm alleges that Tanganyika failed to maintain proper sanitary conditions and didn’t warn guests once they knew or should have known, about the outbreak.
Reacting to the lawsuit, Matt Fouts, Tanganyika Wildlife Park director, shared a statement Tuesday evening saying, “The investigation is ongoing. We are waiting for the test results. Our concern is the safety of our visitors. We keep at this until we get the answers and the splash park will remain closed until we can ensure it’s safe. “
In a Facebook post on Sunday afternoon, Fouts said, “I was notified late Friday afternoon by the county health department with some concerns of a possible connection of illness, and they wanted to take water samples.”
The post went on to say, “After further discussions with the health department toward the end of the day Saturday, I chose to voluntarily (and temporarily) close the splash park until I could ensure the safety of our visitors.”