SANTA MONICA (CNS) - A jury has awarded $15 million to the father of a gifted 13-year-old Los Angeles Unified School District student who collapsed and died while jogging during a physical education class.
The Santa Monica Superior Court panel concluded Friday that the boy, identified only as M.T., died on April 25, 2016, at Palms Middle School due to negligence.
Although physical education teachers eventually attempted CPR, it was ineffective to supply sufficient oxygen to his heart, brain and other vital organs, trial testimony showed. By the time paramedics arrived 12 minutes after M.T. collapsed, the boy had suffered from lack of oxygen and was effectively brain dead, testimony showed.
The school had an automated external defibrillator in the administration office across the street, but the principal had not been notified of a district policy requiring he inform the staff of its existence, testimony showed.
Medical experts testifying for the boy's father said that the timely use of the AED device likely would have saved the boy's life.
In their court papers, LAUSD attorneys stated that the boy had a pre- existing medical condition, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and that neither CPR nor the use of an AED would have been able to restore his heart function after he had cardiac arrest.
"In fact, at the time of his collapse, there was nothing ... immediately at the school site that would have allowed decedent to be resuscitated," the defense lawyers maintained in their court papers.