Nevada County, NID, Lake Wildwood Association sued over E. coli | TheUnion.com

Nevada County, NID, Lake Wildwood Association sued over E. coli

Several people who say they were contaminated by E. coli while swimming in Lake Wildwood have sued, claiming the community association and government should have known the dangers.

Children and adults swimming last July in the western Nevada County lake have sued the Lake Wildwood Association, Nevada County Sanitation District No. 1, Nevada County and the Nevada Irrigation District.

The lawsuit, filed Friday in Nevada County Superior Court, asks for damages for pain, suffering and inconvenience; medical and incidental expenses; loss of earnings; and costs of the suit.

The plaintiffs argue that "Nevada County knew, or should have known, of the unsafe introduction of E. coli into the recreational waters of Lake Wildwood and failed to take appropriate steps to warn the public of the risk of exposure to E. coli as a result of swimming in the contaminated waters."

According to the suit, guests to Lake Wildwood either ingested water and suffered from E. coli poisoning or got the contamination through caring for children at the beach.

Bob Mariani, general manager of the Lake Wildwood Association, and Nevada County Supervisor Ed Scofield declined comment. NID General Manager Rem Scherzinger couldn't be reached for comment.

Recommended Stories For You

The suit states the sanitation district's employees were negligent in their maintenance of its waters and infrastructure, and failed to properly inspect for E. coli.

"It is alleged that these failures led to the introduction of sewage, E. coli, and other contaminants, into Lake Wildwood such that it presented an unsafe and dangerous condition, leading to the subject E. coli outbreak," the lawsuit states.

The suit also claims that E. coli entered Lake Wildwood because of the unsafe and improper design of its pipelines and water-moving equipment.

Nevada County is responsible for managing sewer and water that connects with Lake Wildwood. Those waters were managed improperly by the county, leading to the E. coli outbreak, the suit claims.

Additionally, the suit alleges that NID failed to properly inspect, test and monitor the E. coli levels in the water.

The suit makes no specific mention of geese. Mariani in a June memorandum said tests have indicated a circumstantial link between geese droppings and the E. coli outbreak that sickened people.

Mariani's association has obtained a federal permit that allows it to euthanize geese. He said last week that no plan yet exists for the birds' removal.

To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email ariquelmy@theunion.com or call 530-477-4239.