Wrongful Death Case:
CISLER V. CAPISTRANO UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT
Attorneys Brian Panish and Tom Schultz obtained a $10 million jury verdict in a wrongful death case involving 3-year old Kevin Cisler who was strangled to death in 2011 while on a bus ride home from preschool.
Kevin had Angelman Syndrome which left him with limited mobility and speech. Kevin was enrolled in a special education preschool where he could receive therapy. As part of the program, the CUSD was to provide Kevin with safe transportation to and from preschool in a school bus equipped for a child in a wheelchair, which Kevin was required to use.
CUSD employees failed to properly secure Kevin into his wheelchair and positioned Kevin’s wheelchair directly behind the bus driver’s seat where he could not be seen. During an almost hour long bus ride, Kevin slid down in his chair until the chest harness was around his neck and obstructed his airway. The weight of his body and the position of the chest harness caused Kevin to slowly asphyxiate and, because he was positioned behind the driver, the driver failed to notice that he was in distress