Daughter testifies on losing father to Legionnaires' in Flint

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FLINT (WJRT) - (11/6/2017) - "He was very active. He ran the Crim, he was a downhill skier, he traveled across the country. He traveled to Europe, he traveled to China," Mary Anne Tribble said on the stand Monday.

Tribble's father died of Legionnaires' Disease just before his 84th birthday.

The Attorney General's Office has charged the state's Chief Medical Executive, Dr. Eden Wells, with involuntary manslaughter in his death.

John Snyder was an aeronautical engineer before he became an appraiser and founded Snyder Real Estate in Flint. He retired in 2014, but Tribble says he still frequented the office.

"He was in fairly good health," she said. "He did have some issues because he did have rheumatoid arthritis, he also had... a chronic form of leukemia."

Tribble says he'd have an occasional spell, but those had very little impact.

She explained. "There was nothing wrong with his mind. He could still carry on conversations, political debates, anything. He was really sharp still."

In April 2015, Snyder was admitted to McLaren Hospital in Flint with an allergic reaction from a prescription. Tribble says he had had some burns on his shoulder.

After Snyder was discharged he went to a rehab center for 10 days and then went to live with Tribble for a few weeks.

In June, he was re-admitted to McLaren because he had trouble breathing.

"They put a whole mask on and he was alert enough that he pulled the mask off and said 'who the heck invented this thing because it's really a nuisance' and he demanded that that be taken off," Tribble said.

That would become one of Tribble's last memories with her father. Just days later, Snyder passed away at McLaren.

"That's when we found out he had Legionella because the doctors told us it was Legionella," she said.

The preliminary exam for Dr. Wells continues Tuesday.

The court is trying to decide if there is enough evidence to send Dr. Wells to trial on charges she failed to notify the public about the Legionnaires' outbreak.

Wells says she took the top job with the state one month before John Snyder's death and there is no way she could have prevented it.

Former Deputy Director of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Jim Sygo, also took the stand Monday.

He testified he spoke to Dr. Wells over the phone in March or April and told her about the outbreak and then bugged her again in September at a Friday meeting at the Mayor's Office.

"Trying to get to see whether Dr. Wells had any influence to get the county health department to work with us on mapping where some of these issues were, relative to Legionnaires' and/or legionella, as well," Sygo said.

Dr. Wells's defense team questioned Sygo's dates because he admitted there is no record of the phone call or minutes from the Friday meeting.

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