Ashley Strass wrongful death from malaria – update written by her father as he fights for justice and accountability.
“A lawsuit related to the 2011 malaria death of a Homosassa girl has been working its way through the civil court system. Ashley Mirembe Strass, 4, is believed to have contracted malaria during a visit with her mother, Tracey Strass, to her homeland of Uganda in April 2011 . The planned four-week visit was to meet her mother’s family for the time. But shortly after arriving, Ashley became ill, so the trip was cut short.
According to court records, after treatment at two locations in Uganda, Tracey Strass thought she needed to get her daughter back to the United States for medical care and planned to get her to a hospital emergency room as soon as they landed in Tampa. But on the flight back, at a layover in Washington, D.C., the child grew worse and died at a hospital in Virginia. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention got involved in what would become a prolonged ordeal for Tracey Strass and Ashley’s father, Claude Strass.
Tracey Strass herself would later be diagnosed with malaria. In August 2013 , Tracey Strass, representing the estate of Ashley Strass, filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the Florida Department of Health. The action recounts events leading up to the Uganda trip and Ashley’s death, starting with a visit to the Citrus County Health Department. According to the complaint, the child was taken there to be inoculated for school, as well as any recommended health measures for her upcoming trip to Uganda, a country listed as having prevalent malaria. The lawsuit alleges the department staff failed to administer the necessary treatment and that Ashley had not received anything for malaria prevention, leading to her infection with malaria and death. The action is asking for damages pursuant to the Florida Wrongful Death Act, plus costs and is demanding a jury trial.
The Florida Department of Health admits Ashley came to the Citrus County Health Department to receive school immunizations, but denies all other allegations. The case is being heard by Judge Patricia Thomas.
Both parents gave depositions on Oct. 22 , but the next hearing has not yet been scheduled.
Our best wishes for success in the pursuing this case.