Learn more about your options for compensation by calling (213) 389-3765.The Department of Education launched an investigation against the school and found that the method of restraint used on Max violated state laws and did not match the student’s behavioral intervention plan. The incident resulted in the suspension of the school’s certification (meaning that it could not accept new students). The school closed permanently in December 2018, just a short time after the incident. Kimberly Wohlwend, the teacher involved in the incident, as well as the former Principal Staranne Meyers, Executive Director Cindy Keller, and the school are all facing charges of involuntary manslaughter (one count each). This information has become available almost one year after the tragic death of Max Benson.
The Impact of this Incident on the CommunityAfter the incident, many parents of special-needs students that were attending Guiding Hands School made the decision to pull their students out of the school. The school that these parents had trusted for so many years had proven to be unreliable. The school, teachers, and all other staff members failed to keep Max Benson safe. Their negligent actions directly contributed to the death of the student.
“Revoking a school’s certification is an action that the CDE takes very seriously, and it is not done without careful consideration and justification,” State Superintendent Tony Thurmond said in January.Unfortunately, incidents similar to the one mentioned above occur in schools at all times. Even though the majority of incidents only result in injuries, school-related incidents in which the school and the staff has clearly been negligent should always be taken seriously. If your child suffered any injuries or lost his or her life as a result of a school-related incident that was directly associated to school or staff negligence, do not hesitate to seek legal assistance as soon as possible. Depending on the specific details of the incident, you might have grounds to file a claim and even receive some sort of compensation. If you would like to learn more about the possibility of taking legal action against a school, its staff, or an entire school district, do not hesitate to contact the experts at Downtown L.A. Law Group. At Downtown L.A. Law Group, our experts have many years of experience handling all sorts of claims and helping victims and their families recover the compensation that they deserve. Our lawyers are dedicated to providing those in need with the legal representation necessary to take legal action against the parties or entities accountable. If you would like to explore the possibility of taking legal action for the harm that your child suffered, do not hesitate to seek the legal representation of the experts at our firm at your earliest convenience.
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Duty of Care to StudentsSchool districts, schools, school personnel (like teachers, aids, and other staff members) all have a duty of care towards students. In general, there is a duty of care to ensure that students are out of harm’s way at all times. Without a doubt, sometimes students can pose a danger to themselves or to others, and immediate action is required. However, there is certain protocol to be followed. In schools that deal with special needs students that regularly have behavioral outbursts, behavioral intervention plans are established to ensure that any behavioral issues are correctly addressed. By using excessive force to gain control of or restrain a student (in violation of laws and protocol), for example, there is a breached duty of care that puts students at risk of harm. As soon as a student is harmed in any way due to a breached duty of care, the school district, the school, and all involved school personnel could be found liable. In essence, whenever these parties negligently contribute to the harm that their students suffer, they could be found liable. This means that parents and injured victims (once they become of-age) can pursue claims against these parties to hold them accountable for their negligent actions. If you would like to learn more about the duty of care owed to students and the action that affected parties could take, do not hesitate to seek legal assistance with our experts as soon as possible.
Filing a Claim and Recovering CompensationIf you decide to file a claim, reaching a successful claim outcome could result in recovering at least some sort of monetary compensation. Depending on the specific details of your claim, you could be eligible to receive compensation for at least some of the following:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Funeral and burial costs
- Punitive damage