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Los Angeles Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed Against Compton Unified School District by Parents of Boy Who Died in PE Class

December 31, 1969

The parents of 12-year-old Juan A. Faire are suing the Compton Unified School District, PE teacher Craige Labistre, and doctors Nabil Khoury and Larry Nestor for his Los Angeles wrongful death. Faire died while attending PE class at Whaley Jr. High last year.

Juan suffered from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. His parents say that the school knew he suffered from this condition yet failed to protect him by allowing him to be placed in situations that were dangerous to his health. For example, even with his heart condition, the School and Lebistre let Juan take part in PE and he went into cardiac arrest on September 27, 2010.

In their Los Angeles wrongful death complaint Faire's family blames the school district and its employees of failing to exercise reasonable care in teaching and monitoring Faire, including letting him take part in PE despite his health issues, not properly investigating and understanding hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which can prove fatal when aggravated by strenuous activity, and not completing the necessary medical restriction/disability formalities. Per the Federal Rehabilitation Act, the School is supposed to take into account a child's disabilities when determining how to provide them with appropriate education.

Schools can be held liable for Los Angeles personal injury or wrongful death if their negligence allowed a child under their watch to get hurt, sick, or die. School employees are supposed to stay mindful of a child's health issues or special needs so that they don't place them in a situation that could endanger them.

Unfortunately, deaths resulting from physical activity because a student's health issue was exacerbated are not uncommon. This is even more reason for schools to exercise caution and closely monitor the activities that kids suffering from sickle cell, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, or other serious conditions.

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy
Often, with HCM, one part of the heart is thicker than the other areas. The thickness of the heart muscle makes it more difficult for blood to circulate, which can force the heart to work harder. Younger people are more likely than adults to have a more serious form of HCM.

For many young people suffering from HCM, sudden collapse and possible death are sometimes the first signs of this condition. HCM is also a leading cause of young athlete deaths. Exercise can trigger symptoms of HCM.

Faire's family is also suing Dr. Khoury and Dr. Nestor for Los Angeles medical negligence. The plaintiffs believe that both physicians did not prescribe specific enough directions to both them and school on the proper care of Faire His loved ones say that Dr. Nestor should have fitted the boy with a pacemaker several months before when he fainted at school.

Compton Unified sued over boy's death in gym class, SF Gate/AP, October 4, 2011


Related Web Resources:
Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

Federal Rehabilitation Act, Americans with Disabilities Act


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