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Chrissie Cole
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Woman Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Chico for West Niles Death

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A woman has filed a wrongful death lawsuit, seeking $50 million in damages, against the City of Chico for her husband’s death who died of West Nile virus last year.

The woman said she considering filing a lawsuit last year and was about to give up when she changed her mind after becoming ill with the virus herself this summer.

While she did not go to the hospital, she claims she was sick at home for four weeks. Her husband, in his 80s, contracted the virus last summer and was hospitalized for several weeks prior to his death in the fall.

He was the second person to die of West Nile Virus last year.

Some neighbors said they thought their area was a West Nile “hot spot” because of a city-owned detention pond that appeared to be an ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes.

They claimed the city had allowed debris to collect at the pond’s drainage point, which led to a mosquito problem. Health officials, however, said there didn’t seem to be evidence that West Nile was a greater problem in that neighborhood than most other places in the county.

According to the State Department of Public Health, there have been 108 cases of West Nile virus so far this year in California. Five people died.