Las Virgenes Schools Sued after Boy Loses Consciousness, Tooth in P.E.

The complaint alleges school personnel did not provide adequate medical attention after a collision with another student.

White Oak Elementary in Westlake Village. Photo courtesy the Las Virgenes Unified School District.
White Oak Elementary in Westlake Village. Photo courtesy the Las Virgenes Unified School District.

A negligence suit filed today against the Las Virgenes Unified School District alleges that a young boy was not given speedy medical care after losing a tooth during a collision with another student while playing a popular children's game.

The complaint filed in Los Angeles Superior Court identifies the plaintiff as former White Oak Elementary School student Andrew E.

The case was brought on the youngster's behalf by his father, listed in the court documents as Mark E., and seeks unspecified damages and compensation for the boy's medical costs.

In addition to the school district, the suit names as defendants Superintendent Daniel Stepenosky, White Oak School Principal Sarah Medler, fifth-grade teacher Lorna Maxwell, classroom assistant Cecilia Theus and health clerk Clara Prater.

A representative for Stepenosky's office did not immediately reply to an email seeking comment on the suit.

According to the complaint, the boy was hurt while playing Cut the Cake as part of a physical education class on the White Oak campus in Westlake Village last May 8. Maxwell and Theus were present, the suit states.

Andrew E. and another boy, Austin F., were racing in opposite directions to reach the open spot first, according to the rules of the game, when they collided head-on, causing the plaintiff to fall to the ground and lose consciousness, according to the suit.

After the boy became alert again, Theus walked him to Prater's office, but neither Maxwell nor Theus sought medical attention for him and did not look for his missing tooth, the complaint says.

When the plaintiff reached Prater's office, she told him to "go to the sink to clean the blood off his face," according to the suit. And although the other boy was checked for a possible concussion, Prater did not examine the plaintiff or find out why he was bleeding, the suit alleges.

"Plaintiff's injury was not treated as an emergency by Prater or any other White Oak employee," the suit says.

Medler, in a voice mail message left for the boy's mother, called the incident a "little collision" and said he cut his lip, according to the lawsuit.

The boy's mother, a health care provider, demanded that school employees look for her son's tooth. She also went to the school and looked for the tooth on her own, but did not find it, the suit states.

In addition to the lost tooth, two of the boy's other teeth were knocked out of place, according to the suit, which says he will need additional dental care until he is 20 as a result.

"As a result of the accident, plaintiff's parents pulled their son out of White Oak and enrolled him at St. Patrick's School in Thousand Oaks," the suit says.

--City News Service

Private May 01, 2014 at 01:50 PM
Interesting twist on this incident. Kudos to Austin F's parents for seeing the accident for what it really was and that the White Oak Staff took the appropriate measures to insure both boys were properly cared for as they do with all students!


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