SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - The 2022 San Diego County Fair fully returns for the first time since the pandemic on Wednesday.
This year also marks the return of the petting zoo and livestock exhibits.
In 2019, a two-year-old boy died, and several other children became severely ill after becoming infected with E-coli. All of the children came in contact with animals at the fair.
Two-year-old Jedidiah King Cabezuela died after his kidneys failed.
His great Uncle spoke to 10News shortly after the boy's death.
"His stomach hurt so bad he couldn't even cry," said Ed Sanford.
Now, the 22ND District Agricultural Association, which runs the fair, will pay five families nearly $1.3 million dollars in a settlement reached in March.
An attorney involved in the lawsuit confirms the family of the toddler who died will get three million dollars.
The lawsuits alleged the fair did not provide adequate hand washing stations, failed to properly inspect, clean, maintain and disinfect the fairgrounds and failed to properly inspect and screen animals with dangerous health conditions.
The family of Cristiano Lopez got one million dollars. The two-year-old year old spent nearly two weeks in the hospital.
The 22ND District Agricultural Association released a statement following the news of the settlements.
"Today’s news reinforces the importance of healthy habits around animals anytime, anywhere. We recognize that for many visitors to the Fair this may be their first time being around livestock and we take this agricultural education opportunity seriously."
Protocols regarding handwashing will continue to be followed such as signage throughout animal areas reminding folks not to touch the animals, not to eat or drink in the animal areas, and to wash their hands frequently while visiting animal areas and immediately afterward. Handwashing and hand sanitizing stations are located throughout the grounds and livestock areas...."