A California School District to Pay $15.75 Million Over a Student’s Fatal Asthma Attack: Family's Lawyer

Adilene Carrasco’s mother and family
Instagram/Erika Contreras

13-year-old Adilene Carrasco died in the hospital nine days after suffering an asthma attack while at school.

A California School District has agreed to pay the family of the 13-year-old girl that suffered an asthma attack at school and later died as a result of after school officials did not follow their own safety protocols.=, the girl's family lawyer said. 

The Yucaipa-Calimesa Joint Unified School District has agreed to settle for $15.75 million in connection with the death of 13-year-old Adilene Carrasco, who died in the hospital nine days after suffering an asthma attack while at school, according to the family’s attorney, Robert Glassman. 

The incident leading to Carrasco’s death occurred in 2019, when she and her class went on a long walk to the school's athletic field to battle in a ‘pumpkin chuckin’ contest, according to Glassman.

The walk alone had Carrasco struggling to breathe and she asked to go back to class to get her inhaler, which her teacher allowed but didn’t check to ensure she was in good-enough shape to make the walk, the family attorney alleged. 

After arriving back on the field and her condition not getting better with her inhaler, Carrasco asked to go to the nurse's office, according to Glassman.. With a friend, Carrasco made her way to the nurse's office as her breathing worsened, said Glassman. 

A school monitor saw how bad Carrasco’s condition was and gave her a ride the rest of the way to the office while she was suffering a severe asthma attack, according to the family’s attorney.

While waiting on paramedics, Carrasco lost consciousness and had a heart attack due to her asthma attack. She was transported to the hospital and died nine days later, said Glassman. 

“Common sense tells you the last thing you would want to do is send a child on a long walk uphill without adult supervision when she’s having an asthma attack. Yet, that’s exactly what Adeline’s teacher did on October 31, 2019. By doing so, she violated school district policy and was negligent,” Glassman argued in his press release.

The teacher didn't know about Carrasco’s history of asthma due to not reading her student profile that listed a history of attacks months prior to her fatal attack, the family's attorney claimed.

In the family's trial brief, the attorney alleged that the death of Carrasco would have been prevented if the student profile was checked.

Along with the $15.75 million settlement, the school district agreed to make changes to their current policies and procedures that would make sure staff review and acknowledge students that have listed medical conditions, said Glassman. 

The district will also train staff on oversight of asthma students through a retained pulmonologist, create a partnership with the Arrowhead Regional Medical Center’s “Breathmobile” program, and create a commemoration of Carrasco at Mesa View Middle School, where she attended, according to the family’s attorney. 

“Adilene's death was a preventable tragedy that resonates and reaffirms the fear of every parent and caregiver of an asthmatic child,”  said Glassman. “More must be done to ensure that every district adopts and implements asthma management practices so that no other family suffers the loss of a child due to school district negligence.”

The Yucaipa-Calimesa Joint Unified School District told Inside Edition they do not have comment at this time.

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