Yucaipa School District reaches $15.75-million settlement in student’s death from asthma attack
The Yucaipa School District reached a $15.75-million settlement with the family of a 16-year-old student who died of an asthma attack on Sept. 29, 2016.
In January, the family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the school district, claiming it failed to prevent the student’s death. The family is seeking compensatory damages for the loss of the young boy’s health and life and a “reasonable sum” in punitive damages.
The settlement also includes a $2.2 million settlement with his parents, Marcien and David Nava, as well as an agreement for the district to pay $7.5 million to the family. The lawsuit was filed by attorney Mark Kerkhoff.
An administrative wrongful death settlement hearing is scheduled for March 27.
The district will pay $4.7 million into a fund, which has nearly $15.75 million remaining after the settlement. The settlement money will be split proportionally between the student’s mother and father, with Marcien Nava and her husband paying $1.85 million and David Nava taking $1.25 million.
Marcien Nava said she hopes to use the settlement money to begin paying for future college tuition.
“This money is really an investment in our education system, to ensure that our kids aren’t going to get left behind,” she said.
The settlement with the family was reached after more than two years of mediation and negotiations.
“The process was very painful and difficult, but we are happy that we were able to come to a fair settlement,” said John Witzel, the superintendent of the Yucaipa Independent School District.
Witzel said the district will continue to pursue settlements when a case involves the death of a student. He said he hopes the settlement with the family helps them