A 15-year-old Los Angeles student who died of a suspected overdose was missing for eight hours before her body was found inside her high school bathroom by her friend’s stepfather, lawyers behind a new lawsuit said Wednesday.
Student Melanie Ramos was tragically pronounced dead in the bathroom by paramedics one September evening of suspected fentanyl poisoning after Helen Bernstein High School officials didn’t bother to look for the girl and as a result possibly delayed medical help that might’ve saved her, the lawsuit filed Monday claims, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The wrongful death and negligence lawsuit, brought forward by the late student’s mother Elena Perez, states her daughter and her friend – who also overdosed and was hospitalized – were found by the friend’s stepparent around 8:30 p.m. on Sept. 13.
Ramos’ friend awoke around 8 p.m. that day and saw Ramos was unconscious and ran into her father outside.
A school administrator called Perez earlier that day to tell her Ramos wasn’t in class, the lawsuit stated, according to the LA Times.
LAPD Chief Michael Moore reportedly said Ramos took a pill she believed was Percocet, but was instead laced with Fentanyl, though a detailed autopsy is still pending that will also reveal how long she was dead before she was found, the LA Times reported.
“If it wasn’t for the other party’s parent, then my niece wouldn’t have been found until maybe the next day,” Gladys Manriques, Ramos’ aunt, said during Wednesday’s news conference, according to CBS Los Angeles. “That’s why we want justice. We don’t want another parent to suffer what we’re suffering.”
Perez found out about her daughter’s death early the next morning from the LAPD.
Two teen students have been arrested in the girl’s overdose death.
The lawsuit also outlines how the high school failed to take action to stop the flow of illegal drugs inside the school and easily accessible to teenagers.
The lawsuit alleges the school didn’t do “bathroom sweeps” to find students selling or using drugs, according to the LA Times.
“Kids would be buying and selling and using drugs in the bathroom at Bernstein, and administrators on campus did nothing about it,” attorney Michael Carrillo said, the newspaper reported.
The Los Angeles Unified School District declined to comment on the lawsuit, but asserted, “the safety and well-being of our students and employees remains our top priority.”
With Post wires