LOS ANGELES (AP) — The mother of a 15-year-old girl who died of a suspected fentanyl overdose in a high school restroom has filed a negligence and wrongful-death lawsuit against the Los Angeles Unified School District.
Elena Perez seeks damages, including “for the loss of love of her daughter,” but the lawsuit does not specify a dollar amount.
The lawsuit, announced Wednesday by Perez’s lawyers outside the district’s headquarters, was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court on Monday.
Perez’s daughter, Melanie Ramos, was found dead on Sept. 13 at Helen Bernstein High School by a man who was looking for his missing stepdaughter, a classmate of Ramos.
The lawsuit claims school officials knew there were “rampant drug sales” and prior overdoses on campus but failed to implement safety measures.
The district communications office issued a statement that said it does not comment on litigation. “However, the safety and well-being of our students and employees remains our top priority,” it added.
Police have said Ramos and the classmate bought what they thought was a painkiller off campus, then took the drug on campus and lost consciousness. The classmate awakened around 8 p.m., saw that Ramos was unresponsive, went outside and encountered her stepfather.
Police later arrested two boys, ages 15 and 16, in connection with the death of Ramos and other drug sales in the area.