Family of a 3-year old with Angelman Syndrome wins wrongful death case against Capistrano Unified School District.
The 3-year old boy, Kevin Cisler, died on a bus ride home from school because of Capistrano employees’ negligence. This is the largest award that Orange County has given in a wrongful death case of a child.
Kevin Cisler, was a special needs child who was diagnosed as a baby with Angelman Syndrome. Angelman Syndrome is a neuro-genetic disorder that is characterized by developmental delay, speech impairment, a happy demeanor, and movement issues. People with Angelman Syndrome are called “angels” because of the syndrome’s name and their happy appearance. Kevin Cisler was unable to talk or operate his body like most children his age.
He was attending a special-education preschool. As part of the program, transportation was provided for Kevin to and from school. According to the family’s attorneys, the district employees allegedly did not properly strap Kevin into his wheelchair. They also did not ensure that his chest harness was in place and that his seat was secured. The attorneys also alleged that Kevin’s wheelchair was placed in Kevin’s blind spot
During the almost hour long bus ride, the lawyers alleged that Kevin had slid down into his chair until the chest harness obstructed his breathing. He was later found by one of the other children’s parent. The parent had alerted that driver and called 911, but by then, it was too late.
Initially, Capistrano refused to admit fault for Kevin’s death for 18 months. Eventually, the district admitted liability, but at first, it argued that the value of Kevin’s life and his parent’s loss should be “discounted” because he was developmentally disabled.
According to the family’s lawyers, Kevin’s parents are “overwhelmed and honored” by the jury’s decision. They are proud to have set precedence in disabled children cases. Family lawyer Brian Panish stated: “The slogan of the Angelman Syndrome Foundation is, ‘We may not speak but we have much to say.’ And with this verdict it is clear that young Kevin Cisler had a lot to say. The family is overwhelmed and honored that the jury recognized how much love they had for their son. This is a great moment in the law – the jury was able to look beyond disability and recognize the damage that the loss of any young child does to a family.”
Kevin Cisler was a happy young child that brought immense joy to his family. His death incredible loss to his family and to everyone he knew. If you have also lost a loved one, the recovery is a difficult and painful process. Luckily, there are legal resources to help you through this time. An expert wrongful lawyer can guide through the difficult legal processes of a wrongful death case.
The Law Offices of Dara Khajavi are ready to help you through this challenging time. Our Orange Country wrongful death lawyers will help you with each step of case. Please do not hesitate to contact us for a free consultation. There will be absolutely no charges until your case is won.
Have a great Monday Morning!