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Maryland family alleges school's negligence in daughter's death

Many parents of school-aged children would not think twice about the safety of their kids while they attend school. With systems and plans in place should almost any crisis occur, Maryland school's have a plan with explicit procedures to keep students safe. When kids who suffer from health concerns or have to contend with learning or physical obstacles, there are specific plans for each of these children which is personalized to the needs of their challenge. When schools do not follow protocol and their negligence leads to an injury or death, a school system can find itself as the defendant in a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.

A grieving family of a 14-year-old Montgomery County student has recently filed a wrongful death claim for $10 million against her school. The lawsuit alleges that the student suffered an asthma attack while in gym class and that the teacher refused her request to obtain her inhaler several times. Finally, the girl told the teacher she was leaving the class and retrieving her inhaler from her locker. She was unaccompanied and her safety disregarded while she struggled to breathe and made an attempt to gather her inhaler.

The student was later found by school staff unconscious on the floor and was placed in a wheelchair. The school nurse used an oximeter to determine her blood oxygen levels and found the saturation level at 79 percent, which indicates near death. The girl was rushed to a local hospital by emergency services, receiving epinephrine along the way, but was pronounced dead by the hospital staff.

The loss of a loved one is devastating, especially when the cause of death could have been prevented. When the negligence of another leads to injury or even death in Maryland, the victim or the surviving family of a deceased victim file a personal injury or wrongful death claim in a civil court. Successful claims must establish that the negligence of the defendant/s caused or materially contributed to the accident and injuries or death that followed.

Source: NBC Washington, "Family Sues Montgomery County Public Schools for $10 Million Over Student's Death Inside High School", Scott MacFarlane, Aug. 17, 2017

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