SamoHi Swimming Pool Incident Leads to Government Tort Claim Against SMMUSD
Santa Monica High School Student Suffers Severe Lung Injury in School Pool, his lawyers claim
September 29, 2019
A high school student suffered "severe and debilitating lung injuries" after swimming in the santa monica high school pool according to a government claim filed this month against the SMMUSD.
"(name redacted) is a senior at santa monica high school, a member of the water polo team and an exceptionally strong swimmer. During the team's swimming and water polo meet, he suddenly was unable to breathe, and after gasping for air several times, he immediately became ill. Upon quickly exiting the pool, he began to vomit repeatedly as other students experienced similar symptoms. He was rushed to the Santa Monica UCLA emergency room by ambulance and continues to suffer from serious lung injuries," said his lawyers in a statement.
"He is a strong young man in peak physical form" said attorney Khail A. Parris of The Parris Law Firm. "The school's lack of oversight led him and several other members to become seriously ill as a result of the chlorine gas leak," Parris added.
"Following the incident, the school initially claimed that the students were exposed to natural gas of the same form as those located near the SoCal Gas Blowout in Porter Ranch, California. However, upon further inspection the school determined that the students were exposed to highly toxic levels of chlorine gas emanating from a degraded pool system. (name redacted) is the first of the students to bring a claim against the school," wrote Parris.
According to news reports, 11 students in total required medical attention for respiratory problems. Following the incident, the School District said it would install new filters to prevent future gas leaks.
"The SMMUSD superintendent and Samohi principal met with families following the Samohi pool incident last month," writes SMMUSD spokeswoman Gail Pinsker.
"We have been in communication with the families and we are working with them regarding medical claims stemming from this incident.
We regret that this occurred, and have remedied the cause of the chlorine leak to prevent this from happening again."
"The health and safety of our students and staff are our top priorities. As for this claim, we do not comment on pending litigation," Pinsker added.
To read the government claim form: https://www.parrislawyers.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/AMND-SMHS-Claim-form-copy_091019.pdf