Erick Ortiz, 16, drowned while on a Garfield High School trip to Atlantic Avenue Park on June 4, according to the claim dated June 13 filed by Ortiz’s parents, Claudia Herrera and Cesar Ortiz. The complaint says the district failed to provide adequate supervision for special needs children, including Ortiz, at the event. A service for Ortiz was held last Wednesday.
Ortiz was left unsupervised near the swimming pool area and fell in, Luis Carrillo, the parent's attorney, said in an email. He said that the trip was not a swimming event and Ortiz did not know how to swim.
The claim says the LAUSD failed to provide proper supervision for Ortiz during the trip and negligently hired, trained and retained Jose Lopez, a special education assistant assigned to care for Ortiz since 2012. The LAUSD, Superintendent John Deasy and Lopez are named as respondents.
The claim, which is considered a precursor to a lawsuit, seeks unspecified monetary damages for future medical care, lost wages and emotional pain and suffering.
"Our hearts and sympathies go out to the family of Mr.Ortiz,” Rossall said in an email. “We are cooperating fully with law enforcement in its continuing investigation of this matter.”