Family of autistic students who choked on chicken nuggets settles the lawsuit.
The Palm Beach County School Board in Florida has approved a settlement that will bring the family of a 19-year-old autistic student, Kedar Williams, $ 2 million after a year and a half. Willams choked on a chicken nugget and died. The school will also establish a compulsory training program named after Williams that will apply to all staff working with students with special needs.
On August 13, 2019, Williams was hospitalized at William T. Dwyer High School after the suffocation incident. According to the medical examiner’s report, “Kedar arrived at Dwyer’s cafeteria just after 11am and was eating nuggets when he abruptly left the table and went to a nearby window. The health worker called him back. When he returned to the table, he appeared in distress … (he started to snap and seemed to be choking. He fell to the floor and the health worker called for help. ”It continues,“ Spectators called 911 and 10 minutes after Kedar at 11: 29 o’clock fell to the floor, paramedics from Palm Beach Gardens Fire Rescue were in the cafeteria. “
Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels
Williams’ autism made him non-verbal and more prone to suffocation, according to his family. The school knew of his struggles and should have given adequate support.
“I’ve tried very hard to make sure he has a normal life,” explained Megan Williams. “You should be good at sending your child to school. You should be protected in school. That should not happen. “She said she trusts that her son will be assigned an aide to make sure that is not the case.
Sia Baker-Barnes, attorney for his mother Megan Williams and the student’s estate, stated, “An aide should only be assigned to Williams. However, video footage of that day showed that the adjutant was taking care of another student. The attorney added, “Not only are his parents happy with the settlement, they are also very proud of the fact that they fought for their son and for an educational program to correct the shortcomings that led to Kedar’s death.”
“It’s a mother’s worst nightmare when your son waves goodbye to you in the morning before school and then never sees him alive again. Our family has a gaping hole in our lives with no kedar, ”added Megan Williams.
The boy’s father, Jeffrey Williams, is a teacher. His lawyer Salesia Smith-Gorden said his position in a school surrounded by students from his own daily newspaper was a constant reminder of the tragedy. The lawyer stated, “He’s with children every day, so this is a reminder of the loss he is feeling.”
“While no amount of money will ever alleviate the pain caused by this tragedy, the Palm Beach County School District hopes that the settlement reached with the Williams family will help ease the burden of this enormous loss,” said district spokeswoman Claudia Shea.
In addition to a state lawsuit, Williams’ family took the case to federal court for violating federal protections for students with disabilities.
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