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Hearing to determine liability in teen's death



Published: Fri, June 10, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



WARREN -- A hearing this week in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court centers on whether the Lakeview School District in Cortland is liable in the death of a teenager who had an asthma attack.

Parents of Matthew Spencer, 14, filed the lawsuit in 2000 against Lakeview.

Helen and Jeffrey Spencer of Henn-Hyde Road said their son had a history of physical problems associated with chronic asthma.

On Jan. 27, 1997, Matthew told his physical education teacher at Lakeview High School that he was suffering from an asthma attack and needed his inhaler, their lawsuit states.

The gym teacher sent Matthew to the locker room alone and did not check on him. While unsupervised in the locker room, the asthma attack led to cardiac arrest and Matthew died, the suit states.

The parents allege that the district acted negligently and recklessly. Their attorney is Rodger Pelagalli. They seek $2 million.

Judge Peter Kontos had earlier ruled in favor of the school district in a summary judgment. The 11th District Court of Appeals in 2004, however, said the case should be remanded for a jury trial.




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