Death of a 7-Year Old Raises Questions About School’s Practices

A recent article published by MSNBC detailing the tragic death of a 7-year old school girl has any Chicago personal injury attorney wondering why the school didn’t do more to save her.

According to MSNBC, the first-grader died from an apparent allergic reaction after having eaten something containing nuts and eggs that triggered allergy-related breathing and heart problems. Though paramedics arrived less than five minutes after the school had called for help, she was already in cardiac arrest. She was taken to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead.

This devastating situation is raising questions about how the school in this particular situation – and how schools across the country – should handle these types of circumstances.

Said MSNBC, school officials did not treat the girl with medication such as an epinephrine EpiPen, which can reverse severe allergic reactions. The young girl’s death is causing Chicago wrongful death attorneys to ask questions about whether public schools ought to have doses of anti-allergy medication on-hand for emergencies such as this.

In the summer of 2011, Illinois passed a law allowing schools to stockpile epinephrine to treat allergic reactions, and authorizing schools to administer the drugs in emergency situations without specific prescriptions.

Nevertheless, this story also raises issues of Illinois premises liability law. In general, premises liability law is triggered when an accident or injury occurs to an individual who is on property owned or controlled by another; the owner of the property may be liable if it can be proved that their negligence led to an injury. In this case, school administrators were in charge of the school premises, and were negligent in not having life-saving medications available for the young girl, and for not administering them to her. As a result, they may be made to pay for damages suffered by the girl’s family, such as:

• Pain, suffering or mental anguish suffered by her surviving family members,
• Loss of the girl’s companionship, and
• Punitive damages, which are intended to punish wrongdoers (in this case, school officials) and prevent them from harming others by ensuring that they act more carefully in the future.

Our Chicago wrongful death lawyers have successfully handled hundreds of wrongful death cases and recovered millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for the families of victims wrongfully killed because of someone else’s negligence. Our attorneys understand how devastating these cases can be for families who have lost loved ones, and have the experience and expertise to fight for your rights. In fact, our attorneys won a $775,000 settlement for the family of a three-year-old boy who fell out of a 3rd story window to his death 10 days after his mother removed a broken window from their apartment and covered the opening with plastic. The landlord failed to have the window repaired in a timely manner.

If you’ve lost a loved one in a situation which you believe may be a result of the negligence of another person, you may be able to file a lawsuit to recover the costs involved to pay for medical and funeral expenses, lost benefits, such as insurance, from the death, and pain, suffering or mental anguish suffered by the survivors of the decedent. Contact an attorney to understand your rights under the law.

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