Gym Teacher Refuses Inhaler Request Causing Teen Death

Gym Teacher Refuses Inhaler Request Causing Teen Death

In November of 2015, a 14-year old girl, Taylor Watson, heartbreakingly lost her life after suffering an asthma attack during gym class in Gaithersburg, MD. Almost two years after this tragedy, Taylor’s parents are filing a lawsuit against the Montgomery County school district for neglecting their daughter’s emergency plan and ignoring Taylor’s plea for help.

According to the suit, Taylor asked her gym teacher to leave the gymnasium to retrieve her inhaler after experiencing difficulty breathing during class. Taylor was denied by the gym teacher on the first two attempts to leave. Taylor approached the gym teacher on a third occasion to, not ask, but insist she was leaving to get her inhaler in her locker. The teacher allowed her to leave, but did not make sure someone accompanied Taylor to ensure she was ok.  

Unfortunately, Taylor was not ok. She was found unconscious by a school employee on the steps outside of the gymnasium. School nurses and emergency responders attempted to revive Taylor at the school. Sadly, their attempts were unsuccessful, and Taylor died after arriving at the hospital.

This event was tragic and unnecessary! Taylor’s asthma was a documented medical condition at the school, including an emergency plan to follow if she experienced an asthma attack. The parent’s grief and anger are unquestionable, as well as the motive behind the suit. Surprisingly, their suit has uncovered other incidents in Taylor’s school of students asthma conditions not being taken seriously, and the parents with the support of the community are determined to find out why.

6.2 million children reported having asthma in 2015 according to the Center for Disease and Control and Prevention.

With this many children at risk, it’s essential that schools take necessary measures to adhere to their unique emergency plans and even more important for the parents to get involved. You can’t always be there during your child’s attack, so taking preventative steps at home and in the school for your child can be live-saving:


This plan will have specific details for your child and school employees on what to do if your child has an attack. It will also include what to do if the child does not respond to the regular inhalers or medications, providing all emergency numbers needed. For guidance on making your child’s plan, Metro East Allergist is a great resource.


Before the school year begins, or as soon as your child is diagnosed, visit the school with your action plan. Talk to school officials to see what their policy is for implementing these plans and who is responsible. Possible employees include nurses, teachers, coaches, bus drivers, or any school authorities who have supervised time with your child.


Ask your child’s doctor what pretreatment they can do to decrease the chance of an attack on days they have gym or sports practice. Educate your child on their action plan and have them identify the signs of an attack. Role play situations in which one could occur, making sure they know who to seek for help and where their inhalers are located.

Asthma is a serious condition, especially in children. It requires quick response and serious action. If your child has experienced further illness, injury, or death due to the negligence of their asthma condition, don’t hesitate to call our winning team at  Siler and Ingber. Our attorneys care about the safety and well being of your family. Give us a call today at 1-877-718-6079 or contact us online through the form below to schedule an appointment.




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