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Case 8:17-cv-02339-TDC Document 1 Filed 08/15/17 Page 1 of 9

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT OF MARYLAND


Southern Division
Civil Division

Georgia Grant-Walton, Personal :


Representative To the Estate :
Of Taylor Walton :
735 Hilden Marsh Street :
Gaithersburg, Maryland, 20877 :
:
Plaintiff, :
:
V. :

Montgomery County :
Board Of Education :
Carver Education :
Service Center :
850 Hungerfor Drive :
Rockville, Maryland :
:
And : Ca: _____________________
:
Gaithersburg High School :
314 South Frederick Ave :
Gaithersburg, Maryland 20877 :
:
And :
:
John Doe, Gym Teacher :
314 South Frederick Ave :
Gaithersburg, Maryland 20877, :
:
Defendants. :
_____________________________________ :

COMPLAINT AND DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL

This action concerns the wrongful death of minor Taylor Walton


(Taylor) who was a student in Gaithersburg High School. Taylor died
while in school from the failure of the schools staff to timely and
properly treat her emergency asthma attack. Notice of claim has been

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timely and properly filed with all of the Defendants.

PARTIES

1. Plaintiff, Georgia Grant-Walton, is Taylors mother, and the


Personal Representative of her Estate.
2. Defendant Montgomery County Board of Education (Board)
includes all members of the Board, all employees, agents and servant
who manage, teach and deliver education and resources to Montgomery
County public school students.
3. Defendant Gaithersburg High School (School) includes all
employees, agents and servants who manage and deliver education and
resources to Montgomery County public school students.
4. John Doe who is a Gym Teacher, or a Physical Education
Instructor at Gaithersburg High School including the gym staff.

FACTS Common To All Counts


5. The minor Decedent, resided with her mother, Plaintiff Georgia
Grant-Walton, in the city of Gaithersburg, Montgomery County,
Maryland, was enrolled at Gaithersburg High School in August 2015.
6. At all times relevant hereto, compulsory Maryland education laws
create a special relationship between each student and the Defendants.
Because of the special relationship, each student has a constitutional
guarantee to safe, secure and peaceful environment while in school.
The Defendants had special duties to protect the minor Plaintiff and
other students at Gaithersburg High School when such students are
entrusted to their care under this special relationship.
7. Minor Plaintiffs care, welfare and physical custody was
entrusted to the Defendants. The Defendants failed to keep Plaintiff
safe from injury and harm in the school environment in which Plaintiff
was not free to leave during school hours.
8. At all times relevant, Taylor suffered from asthma, an

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inflammatory disease of the airway where pollutants in the air or


exercise can cause her an anaphylactic reaction. A reaction causes
swelling of the membranes lining the airway, which if not immediately
treated, will obstruct ones ability to breath and may directly cause
death.
9. Under Article 7-426 Annotated Code of Maryland, (the law)
Montgomery County Public Schools are required to adhere to certain
protocols, including the development of an emergency treatment plan
for each student suffering from a condition that causes an anaphylaxis
reaction, such as asthma. The Maryland law requires the Defendants
to disseminate the identity of each student suffering from such
condition to the teaching staff of the School, including the Gym
Teacher. The Maryland law also permits and ensured the student that
they would be able to obtain their inhaler when needed.
10. The Maryland law requires all school personnel to be trained
in the manner in which to deliver treatment for anaphylactic reaction,
when it occurs to a student.
11. Taylor became enrolled in School in August 2015. Upon
enrollment, School officials were informed that minor Taylor suffered
from asthma. An emergency treatment plan was developed for Taylor
in consultation with Taylors mother and was required to be
distributed to all of Plaintiff Taylors teachers, including her Gym
Teacher.
12. Based upon information and belief, on or about the second week
in October 2015, while participating in gym class, Taylor suffered
an anaphylaxis reaction in front of the Gym Teacher. Such anaphylaxis
reaction caused Taylor injury and she had to use her inhaler to control
the attack. The asthma episode, however, resolved without requiring
her 911 medical intervention.
13. On November 30, 2015, while again participating in physical
education class, Taylor advised Gym Teacher that she was having
trouble breathing because of the start of an asthma attack. She

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requested permission to leave gym class to obtain her inhaler from


her locker. On information and belief, Defendant John Doe Gym Teacher,
denied Taylors request. The Defendant Gym Teacher violated the
Schools policy of failing to immediately treat Taylor of her asthma
condition.
14. Shortly after the first denial, Taylor again approached and
advised the Defendant John Doe Gym Teacher that she was continuing
to have trouble breathing because of her asthma condition. She again
requested permission to leave the gymnasium to obtain her inhaler
from her locker. On information and belief, Defendant Gym Teacher
again denied Taylors request and violated the Schools policy.
15. A Third time, Taylor again approached the John Doe Gym Teacher
and stated that she was still having severe problems breathing and
that she leaving class to get her inhaler. Thereafter, Taylor left
the gym class. As Taylor was observed leaving the gymnasium, there
were no efforts by Defendant Gym Teacher or other members of the gym
staff to accompany her to her locker to help her get her inhaler or
to secure her safety.
16. Shortly thereafter, Taylor was observed on the floor outside
the gymnasium by an employee of the school and nearly dead. Such School
employee contacted the school nurse about Taylors condition.
17. Upon responding to the scene, members of the Schools nursing
staff observed Taylor, incontinent and laying on the floor.
18. After placing Taylor in a wheel chair, the nursing staff
obtained an oximeter and determined that Taylors oxygen saturation
level was 79% and that she was nearly dead.
19. Taylor was administered artificial respiration her eyes
remanded closed and she appeared unconscious and nearly dead.
20. The EMT was finally called by the School nurse requesting
emergency care and transportation for Taylor.
21. Upon arrival by EMT, Epinephrine was administered to Taylor but
it was too late.

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22. The EMT vehicle departed the School and called a Code Blue and
arrived at Shady Grove Hospital and Taylor was pronounced dead.
23. On November 2015 the Personal Representative for Taylor filed
a Notice of claim pursuant to the Maryland Tort Claims Act, Md. Code
Ann. State Govt Section 12-101 to 12-110.
24. On November 2016 Counsel for the Personal Representative filed
a supplemental/amended Notice of the claim.
25. At all times relevant herein, Defendant Board and its staff owed
Taylor a duty to preserve and protect her welfare and well being
consistent with loco parentis, as well as adhere to the regulations
to protect a class of students, which Taylor was a member.
26. The actions or omissions of the Defendant Board and its staff,
encompassing its employees, agents and servants, within the scope
of their employment, breached the duty owed Taylor. Each individual
breach by the Board and staff, or in concert with each other, was
a substantial factor in proximately causing injury and then death
of Taylor.
27. As set forth herein, Defendants and each of them failed to uphold
numerous mandatory duties imposed upon them by state and federal law
and by written School policies, regulations and procedures applicable
to each Defendant and including but not limited to the following:
a) Failure to use reasonable care to protect students and minor
Plaintiff from known or foreseeable dangers;
b) Failure to properly train, educate and supervise school
teachers, athletic directors, coaches, assistant athletic staff so
that they are aware of asthma attacks and injury to students including
Plaintiff when such condition starts,
c) Failure to conduct a review, or provide an update to Taylors
Emergency Treatment Plan when Taylor complained to Gym Teacher about
suffering shortness of breath during the month of October 2015;
(d) Failure to identify Taylor as one who was susceptible to
develop an anaphylactic reaction episode following a triggering

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event, as sudden exercise as required by the Maryland law;


(e) Failure to recognize signs of anaphylaxis and treat minor
Plaintiff timely and accordingly for such emergency condition;
(f) Failure of Defendant to consent to Taylors request to
terminate her participation in gym class as well as permit her an
opportunity to obtain her inhaler after her Gym Teacher was made aware
that Taylor was experiencing symptoms associated with the
commencement of an anaphylactic event;
(g) Failure to provide aid to Taylor when she complained of
shortness of breath,
(h) Failure to provide Taylor with an escort when she was leaving
gym class;
(i) Failure to timely call 911;
(j) Failure of Defendants nursing staff to reference Decedents
treatment plan in order to deliver timely and appropriate treatment,
(k) Failure of the School staff to immediately administer
Epinephrine, and other medications,
(l) Failure to properly train the teaching, support and nursing
staff of the proper manner to deliver timely treatment to students
who suffer anaphylactic reactions,
(m) The Defendants falsely imprisoned Plaintiff and stopped her
from obtaining immediate medical care and her inhaler, and
(n) The Defendant was otherwise negligent.

COUNT I
(Gross Negligence)
Gym Teacher John Doe and School Board)

28. Plaintiff incorporates the allegations contained in Paragraphs


1-27 above as if fully recited herein.
29. The Defendant John Doe Gym Teacher is an employee of Gaithersburg
High School and is subject to the laws, policies and regulations
of the State of Maryland. His actions were acts of an employees

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incompetence in failing to protect Plaintiff in a time of her


emergency.
30. The actions of Defendant Gym Teacher, in depriving Taylor of the
opportunity to timely obtain her inhaler medication, with obvious
knowledge of the repercussion that would follow from such refusal,
manifested either malice, an intent to inflict serious injury or was
indicative of a showing of deliberate indifference to the safety,
care and welfare of Taylor, to which the Gym Teacher was under a
specific obligation to protect under his care.
31. The refusal of the Defendant Gym Teacher to grant permission to
Taylor to temporarily leave the gymnasium to obtain her asthma
medication is even more egregious when prior to November 30, 2015,
Taylor suffered a similar asthma episode in his class. However, this
episode resolved without medical intervention. The Defendants are
also negligence in hiring, training and retaining Defendant Gym
Teacher.
Wherefore, Plaintiff demands judgment against the Defendant
School Board and Defendant Gym Teacher, jointly and severally, in
the amount of $10 Million Dollars plus attorney fees and costs and
punitive damages.

COUNT II
(Survival Action)

32. Plaintiff incorporates the allegations contained in


Paragraphs 1-31 above as if fully recited herein.
33. As a result of the carelessness and negligence of Defendant
School and Board, including its employees, agents and servants within
the scope of employment, Plaintiff requests damages for the pain and
suffering that minor Taylor endured from the time she first reported
breathing difficult to Gym Teacher up to the time of her death, the
pecuniary loss of income to her estate over the period of her life

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expectancy, and damages associated with the loss of enjoyment of life.


Wherefore, on behalf of the estate of Taylor Warden, Plaintiff
as Personal Representative of the Estate demands that judgment be
entered against the Defendants Montgomery County School Board and
the School and Gym Teacher for the maximum amount permitted by law
of $400,000.
Count III
(42 U.S.C. 1983 action)
34. Plaintiff incorporates the allegations contained in
Paragraphs 1-33 set forth above as if fully recited herein.
35. The denial by Defendant John Doe School Gym Teacher to permit
Taylor to obtain her inhaler and seek medical attention was
intentional and actions of indifference by the Gym Teacher. Such acts
and omissions were a complete deprivation of Taylors civil rights
and privileges, safety and well being of minor Taylor. Such acts and
omissions were a complete denial of Taylors Fourth Amendment rights
and a direct cause of her death, entitling Taylor to 43 U.S.C. 1983
damages.
36. The repeated and continuous denial by Defendant Gym Teacher
to permit Taylor to obtain her inhaler and seek immediate medical
attention was an intentional and in deprivation of Taylors rights
and privileges, safety and wellbeing. These wrongful actions were
a denial of Taylors fourth amendment rights directly causing her
injury and death, and entitling Taylor to 43 U.S.C. 1983 damages.
37. The John Doe Gym Teacher knew of impending danger to the
minor Plaintiff because of her asthma condition, and he was
recklessly indifferent to her condition, and through the authority
vested in him by the public School Board Of Education and School,
knowingly created a dangerous environment to Plaintiff, which led
to her death. The Teacher violated the Schools customs and/or
policies, which directly led to Taylors death.

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Wherefore, Plaintiff demands judgment against Defendants


School, Board and John Doe Gym Teacher, jointly and severally, in
the amount of $10 Million Dollars plus attorney fees and costs and
punitive damages.

Count IV
(Negligent Selecting, Hiring, Training and Supervision Claim)
38. Plaintiff incorporates the allegations contained in
Paragraphs 1-37 set forth above as if fully recited herein.
39. Defendant Montgomery County Public Schools ("MCPS"); the
Montgomery County Board of Education (Board) and School are
required under the laws of the State of Maryland to use due care to
properly select, hire, train, educate and supervise Defendant Gym
Teacher in the laws, policies and regulations affecting students
suffering from asthma conditions. The failure of MCPS and the Board
to properly train, teach and supervise Defendant Gym Teacher directly
lead to the injury and death of Plaintiff Taylor.
Wherefore, Plaintiff demands judgment against the Defendants
MCPS the Board and School in the amount of $10 Million Dollars, plus
attorney fees and costs and punitive damages.

Sincerely yours,

______ Jay Dorsey __

Jay Dorsey, Esq.


J.B. Dorsey & Associates
146 Tennessee Ave. N.E.
Washington, D.C. 20002

JURY TRIAL DEMAND


Plaintiff demands a trial by jury on all issues so triable.
____Jay Dorsey _
Jay Dorsey, Esq.