Yucaipa-Calimesa school district to pay $15.75M to family of girl who died after asthma attack

After a 13-year-old girl died from an asthma attack at school, her family wants to prevent that from happening to another family.

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Saturday, November 19, 2022
School district to pay $15.75M after IE girl's deadly asthma attack
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After a 13-year-old Yucaipa girl died from an asthma attack at school, her family wants to prevent that from happening to another family.

YUCAIPA, Calif. (KABC) -- Edith Sepulveda lost her 13-year-old daughter Adilene Carrasco after a fatal asthma attack in 2019.

Adilene's class at Mesa View Middle School in Calimesa was heading to the soccer field for a science project when she began to have an asthma attack.

She had a known history of asthma attacks, which was documented by the school.

She alerted her teacher of this difficulty breathing, and her teacher allowed her to go back to the classroom with a friend to get her inhaler.

When the inhaler wasn't helping, she walked back to the soccer field to ask the teacher if she could go to the nurse.

That same teacher allowed her to go but with a classmate, which violated the school safety protocols.

When a student is having difficulty breathing, an adult is supposed to escort the child to the nurse.

"Adilene had to walk over 4,000 feet, over 1,300 yards, which is over 13 football fields," said Robert Glassman with the law firm Panish, Shea, Boyle, Ravipudi LLP.

Adilene collapsed and paramedics rushed her to the hospital, where her family said goodbye to her nine days later.

She is survived by her mother, brother and sister. Adilene's family recently received a $15.75 million settlement from the Yucaipa-Calimesa Joint Unified School District. But they want to see more done so that other families don't have to suffer.

"We intend to create common-sense legislation that will make schools across California safer for students and their families who deal and suffer with asthma," Glassman said.

The school district has also agreed to adopt the California School Board Association's best practices on school-based asthma management.

"What I'm doing is for her, so no other family has to go through for what we went through," Edith Sepulveda said.

The Yucaipa-Calimesa Joint Unified School District did not respond to a request for comment.