A year ago, a fifth-grader was tragically found hanging in the bathroom of an Evanston suburban elementary school. An autopsy by the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office determined that the 10 year old Skokie boy died of hanging and ruled his death a suicide. Recently, the Chicago Sun-Times reported that the family of the fifth-grader has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Evanston school district. The wrongful death lawsuit plaintiff contends that the school district had the responsibility to keep her son safe during school hours. The wrongful death lawsuit alleges that no effort was made to locate the 10 year old after he went missing as students were lining up to go to gym class. The 10 year old was found 30 minutes later by another student.
The wrongful death lawsuit has four counts, which claim wrongful death negligence, survival action negligence, wrongful death related to willful and wanton conduct, and survival related to willful and wanton conduct. Each of the counts seek in excess of $50,000. To better understand the meaning of the lawsuit, the attorneys at Levin & Perconti wish to explain some of the terms of the wrongful death lawsuit. First, negligence is a party’s failure to use reasonable care; it is the doing of something which a reasonably prudent person would not do. Further, willful and wanton conduct is the conscious and intentional disregard of an indifference to the rights and safety of others, which the defendant party knows or should know is likely to result in injury, damage, or other harm. Thus, the wrongful death lawsuit against the school district alleges that the school acted with a conscious disregard for the 10 year old’s safety or at the very least failed to use reasonable care.
Click here to read the Chicago Sun-Times article on the wrongful death lawsuit. ht