Family Sues School After Teen Dies Of Fentanyl OD
A 15-year-old girl was found dead in the bathroom of her high school. The cause of death was an opioid overdose related to a fentanyl-laced pill. The school reportedly notified the mother that she never showed up to school that day. However, they never attempted to look for her after the mother reported that she’d been brought to school. The girl was found 8 hours later by the father of another student. By then, she’d been dead for some time.
The school has made some voluntary changes since the death. The school now has Narcan on hand for students who may be overdosing. It is already safer to go to school in America. Two teens have been charged with supplying the girl with the pill.
Elements of negligence
The most important thing to determine is what happened to the girl before she got to school. The school notified the parent that the student did not arrive. The parent likely informed the school that they should have been there. At that point, no effort was made to recover the girl. We don’t know if school officials figured she was playing hooky, but they never checked her in. This could end up being a problem for the lawsuit because if the school never received custody of the child, then they may not be considered responsible for her. There may have been a short window between when she was dropped off and when she was checked in that she OD’d in the bathroom. The school will argue that the girl never arrived and thus, they were not responsible for her. But they will then have to explain why she was found dead in their bathroom 8 hours later.
We don’t have a complete story
Ultimately, the parents likely feel like they don’t have the whole story. The school probably reported that their daughter was found dead in the bathroom of an apparent drug overdose. The mother will remind them that they told her she never came to school that day. So, obviously, some mistake was made. The question then becomes: Did the mistake substantially contribute to the girl’s death? If the answer is yes, then the plaintiffs should be compensated for their loss and the district is responsible.
A determination will be made as to whether or not any school district policy was violated. It can be very difficult to hold the government accountable for negligence if a government employee did not violate its own policy. If there was no policy in place for handling the matter above, then the department would also be off the hook.
Talk to a Tampa Wrongful Death Attorney Today
The Matassini Law Firm represents the interests of those who have lost loved ones to acts of negligence. Call our Tampa personal injury lawyers today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help.