DENVER (DPRK) – A mother is suing a Colorado school district, saying she was not notified for several hours after her disabled son broke both of his legs after losing control on a ramp in a wheelchair.

Nexstar’s KDVR received a civil lawsuit filed by Igor Raykin, who represents Patricia Portillo Estrada. Her 12-year-old son was enrolled at Rocky Mountain Elementary Adams 12 Five Star Schools District.

According to the lawsuit, Portillo Estrada’s son has significant disabilities, including intellectual, orthopedic and speech. Therefore, he has to use a wheelchair, a walker or a tricycle.

Portillo Estrada and her son are also immigrants who speak primarily Spanish and use county employees as interpreters.

“He needs constant supervision, especially when going down a ramp,” the mother told KDVR through an interpreter.

The interpreter said that Portillo-Estrada wants the school to do better: “She feels that the school has failed to take care of him because she feels that you send your children and the school trust, you trust the system and hope that they will take care of your children and that didn’t happen.”

The lawsuit alleges the school was denied accommodations

The lawsuit alleges that the school district has denied the boy reasonable accommodations for his disability since October 28, 2020. In one example, the lawsuit alleges that from October 2020 to the present, the school district failed to supervise or assist the boy with his functional mobility.

The lawsuit alleges that the school district did not provide the boy with the same access to education that he would have received had he not been disabled.

Boy breaks both legs after losing control on ramp

According to the lawsuit, the district’s failure to supervise the boy came to a head on May 10, 2022, when he suffered bilateral fractures to the tibia and fibula of both legs after he lost control of his wheelchair on a ramp at Rocky Mountain Elementary had.

The incident occurred at 8:15 a.m. School staff did not report the boy’s injuries, according to the lawsuit, which cited the elementary school.

After the incident, the lawsuit says at least one school employee spotted the boy at the bottom of the ramp but allegedly did not render aid.

The lawsuit alleges that the boy was left to recover from his injuries and return to class.

“Rocky Mountain Elementary’s internal report states that several staff members observed plaintiff “close to tears throughout the day.” However, neither his homeroom teacher nor any RME staff took any action to investigate or treat his condition. Nor did any RME personnel contact Ms. Portillo Estrada to inform her of plaintiff’s condition,” the attorneys said in the lawsuit.

Portillo Estrada didn’t know about her son’s condition until she picked him up from the bus stop later that afternoon.

According to the lawsuit, the boy was in pain for seven hours before his mother was made aware of it after school.

According to her attorneys, Portillo Estrada texted the school to ask about the incident but received no response. The next day, she decided to leave her son at home, where he continued to be in pain. She still didn’t know what had happened to her son.

The school claims shoulder problems caused pain

The lawsuit said Rocky Mountain Elementary later responded to Portillo Estrada’s texts and questions about the requests. The school reportedly said the pain was due to shoulder problems.

However, the lawsuit states that the boy did not experience shoulder or back pain until after the incident.

The school then advised Portillo Estrada to take her son to a doctor.

Portillo Estrada told the school that her son was suffering from severe pain and swelling in his knees, but the lawsuit says the school claimed the boy suffered no injuries while attending school. The school reportedly said the boy must have suffered from the pain of falling out of bed.

Mother sends boys back to school

Two days later, on May 12, Portillo Estrada decided to send her son back to school. The lawsuit said she was not yet aware of the extent of her son’s injuries.

“Several hours later, RME contacted Ms. Portillo Estrada and requested that she either pick her son up from school due to the pain or call an ambulance to take him to the hospital,” the lawsuit states.

Portillo Estrada took her son to the hospital where he was diagnosed with bilateral fractures with severe swelling.

According to the lawsuit, the boy’s injuries were so severe that Portillo Estrada was interviewed by a clinical social worker.

After the boy’s diagnosis, the lawsuit says, he remained hospitalized for a week and had to maintain complete immobilization of his legs for another four weeks.

Because the boy was bedridden for more than a month, he developed bedsores, the lawsuit says.

Surveillance footage shows a boy falling out of a wheelchair

In June, Portillo Estrada and an interpreter spoke with the principal at Rocky Mountain Elementary. Up until that point, the lawsuit says, the school had denied any wrongdoing.

During this meeting, the director reviewed security footage from the morning of the incident.

According to the lawsuit, the footage showed the boy unattended and unattended. He tried to get through the ramps between classrooms but lost control.

The boy’s wheelchair rolled down the ramp and hit a concrete wall. According to the lawsuit, the video showed that the boy’s knees absorbed most of the impact.

The elementary school wrote a summary of the video and shared it with Portillo Estrada.

After the collision, the boy reportedly returned to class.

The principal opened an investigation after meeting Portillo Estrada in June.

The program states the boy needs supervision and assistance in a wheelchair

According to the lawsuit, the boy’s individualized education program has been changed several times since he started school in 2020.

In several instances, his educational program stated that he needed supervision and assistance when navigating ramps and uneven terrain in a wheelchair, the lawsuit says.

In a March 2022 program, the lawsuit said the boy “requires safety monitoring from staff throughout the day” due to medical, mobility and functional issues.

After the clash, the school principal said the boy’s language should be strengthened in the educational program.

The August 2022 program states that the boy “requires 1:1 practical wheelchair assistance.”
when he switches between classes, goes up and down ramps and on the
Playground.”

“The IEP (Individualized Education Program) said that constant supervision was indeed necessary, but the constant supervision did not occur in this particular location, and so this catastrophic accident occurred,” said Raykin, the family’s attorney.

KDVR contacted the district and received the following statement:

At this time, the district has not been served with a complaint regarding this matter. When we are served with a complaint, the District’s practice is not to disclose information about pending or ongoing litigation.

Adams 12 five-star schools

The lawsuit alleges the school district violated the Rehabilitation Act

After the incident and allegations that the boy was denied reasonable accommodations, the mother is suing the district for discrimination in violation of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act and that Colorado Anti-Discrimination Law.

“We just want them to take things more seriously and take the needs of these kids more seriously,” Raykin said.

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