Asthmatic Teen Dies When Gym Teacher Refuses Inhaler Requests – Wrongful Death Lawsuit Follows

In 2015, a Maryland teen began having an asthma attack during gym class. Fourteen-year-old Taylor Walton requested permission to get her inhaler, but the gym teacher refused. A second request was also refused. By the third request, Walton explained to the teacher that she was having severe breathing problems and that she needed to leave class to get her inhaler. This time, the unnamed teacher granted permission, but nobody accompanied Walton – who was struggling to breathe – to the locker room. She was later found collapsed outside the gym. Efforts to revive the child were unsuccessful.

Walton’s family has filed a lawsuit against the gym teacher, the high school, and the county’s board of education, claiming that their daughter’s wrongful death was the result of gross negligence, and that the teen’s civil rights were violated. According to the lawsuit, the school was aware that Walton suffered from asthma. In fact, this wasn’t the first asthma attack she had suffered in that gym teacher’s class. The school also failed to distribute an “emergency treatment plan” to Walton’s teachers. As such, the teen’s family is seeking $10 million from the school district, alleging that multiple breaches of duty played a “substantial factor in proximately causing injury and then death of Taylor.” A MA wrongful death attorney can help you determine how to proceed if you’ve lost a love one due to another’s negligence.

How is Wrongful Death Defined in Massachusetts?

In MA, a person or company may be liable for the wrongful death of another if the death was caused by:

  • Negligence
  • A wanton or reckless act
  • A Breach of warranty

When a deceased person could have filed a personal injury case if he or she had lived, another party will likely be able to file a wrongful death claim. But who can bring a wrongful death lawsuit? Generally, anyone who suffers financially due to another’s death may be able to file a wrongful death claim. Most commonly, this includes immediate family members, life partners, financial dependents, and any person who was financially dependent on the deceased. A Boston wrongful death attorney can help you recover damages if you’ve lost a loved one due to another’s negligence.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?

In MA, wrongful death claims can be filed against multiple parties, including individuals, companies, and government agencies. Take the following scenario for example: Tom is killed in a drunk driving accident. The drunk driver was over-served at a bar before getting behind the wheel. Although his intoxication may have contributed to the accident, so too may have the faulty roadway on which he was driving. As such, the victim’s family may bring a wrongful death lawsuit against:

  • The driver
  • The faulty roadway’s builder or designer
  • The government agency that failed to place warning signs around a road hazard that contributed to the accident
  • The person who over-served the drunk driver
  • The owner of the bar in which the drunk driver was over-served.

In MA, wrongful death claims cannot be filed against:

  • An employer if an employee dies in a work-related accident.
  • A railroad or street car company if someone is killed on or near the tracks.

Altman & Altman, LLP – Boston’s Top Wrongful Death Attorney

If you have lost a loved one due to another’s negligence, the skilled legal team at Altman & Altman, LLP can help. Our experienced, compassionate attorneys understand the emotional complexities of wrongful death cases. We will be by your side throughout the entire process. Our knowledgeable legal team has an impressive track record of obtaining compensation for our clients. We will assess your case, determine the best strategy for moving forward, and ensure that you fully understand your rights and options. Don’t go through this difficult time alone. Contact Altman & Altman, LLP today for a free and confidential consultation about your case.


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