Call Today! 310-430-7799
Call Today! 310-430-7799
Okabe & Haushalter Blog

Los Angeles School Unified District Gets Sued For Wrongful Death Of Student

OKABE & HAUSHALTER Sep 16, 2021 Victim Representation

A school is a place where parents can feel at ease knowing that their children are being cared for by responsible adults. Likewise, teachers and faculty have a priority to ensure that their students are in good hands. However, there are grounds to sue if an issue arises because of a school’s negligent actions. At Okabe & Haushalter in Los Angeles, our team of school negligence attorneys is dedicated to fighting for your children’s rights to safety at school.

Father Sues School District For Neglecting To Help His Son

Xavier Peterson, the 17-year-old North Hollywood High School basketball player, committed suicide after teachers failed to respond to the signs of distress he showed at school that day. His father, Luc Richard Elie, filed a lawsuit against the Los Angeles School Unified District for wrongful death, negligence, negligent supervision, training, hiring, and retention.

The District has a policy stating that they are committed to providing a safe, secure, and civil school environment. The school, the District, and any school-related activities would be held responsible for responding appropriately to a student’s distressed behavior or suicidal ideation.

After Patterson attempted his first suicide, he was obligated to have 90 minutes of counseling with the counselor, Schwarzmer, each month. However, an unsupervised intern conducted the assessment instead of Schwarzmer.

Schwarzmer claimed that he called the school police because he was worried about Patterson heading towards the freeway. Although the LAUSD crisis team and threat risk assessment team were not alerted. The LAUSD police followed Patterson home but did not interact with him. He places his hat on the ground outside of his apartment before deciding to take his own life. The details about how he took his own life were not disclosed. Unfortunately, Patterson’s body was later found on top of a building.

Patterson was part of the statistics that 48,500 lives are taken every year in the U.S by suicide. That is 130 suicides every day. For every 11 minutes that pass, another suicide occurs.

How Can Schools Fail To Follow Procedure?

The types of school district negligence consist of the following:

  • Failing to address safety hazards
  • Under-training faculty and staff members
  • Failing to maintain school properties
  • Failing to provide a secure campus
  • Poorly preparing anticipated natural disasters
  • Negligent hiring faculty and staff members
  • Providing poor or inadequate responses to problems

Opposing an education board can be difficult, but it can be manageable with the help of an attorney knowledgeable on school legislation. School Districts are liable for ensuring their properties are safe, secure, and well-maintained. The District guarantees to react quickly but appropriately whenever an issue arises. In addition, the school district must ensure that its staff is properly supervising its students.

When Does Your Child’S School Fail To Follow Procedure?

Since your children spend 35 hours or more at school per week, we want your child’s school to be a safe place for them. Therefore, there should be repercussions for teachers whose inattentiveness leads to a child’s injury. At Okabe & Haushalter, our experienced Los Angeles school negligence attorneys dedicate their time and resources to recover damages for the school’s neglecting to follow standard procedure.

If you or a loved one has been a victim of school negligence, contact us today by clicking here or calling us at 310-430-7799.