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Mom Sues NYC DOE For the Death of Her Son While At School; There was No Defibrillator
The DOE told City Council that these machines, while life-saving, were too expensive. Now they may be paying millions for a lost life.

The mother of a Brooklyn eighth-grader who died of heart problems while running laps at Ditmas JHS nearly two years ago has sued the city, claiming it failed to provide a defibrillator on school premises as required by law.

Blasina Jimenez also names as defendants the doctors and medical facilities that treated her son, Randy Carlot, 13, well before the incident, but allegedly failed to recognize a heart ailment, according to a seven-page complaint filed recently at Brooklyn Supreme Court.

The second anniversary of Randy's death was marked this month. "It seems like yesterday. There's no more Christmas or New Year's for me or my family," Jimenez told The Post. "We talk about him every day."

Randy, who attended JHS 162, collapsed and died on Jan. 11, 2003, while running laps in the Ditmas gym as part of a baseball tryout.

"Defendants at the time of the event did not have any defibrillators on the premises, as required by state law to revive [Randy]," the suit says. The city Department of Education also failed to properly administer CPR and to "medically clear" Randy through a physical exam before the tryout, the suit charges.

A spokesperson for the department had no comment on the suit, but noted that each of the city's 1,300 schools now has at least one defibrillator and personnel trained to use it.

But that's not what The E-Accountability Foundation discovered when we called about 60 schools. Many had one defibrillator but no one who knew how to use it, some had none; everyone said they needed at least one more, and training.

ABC TV agrees with us:
January 7, 2005

Most NYC Schools Still Without Defibrillators
By Art McFarland
(New York-WABC, January 7, 2004) - They are required by law, yet many schools in New York City are still not equipped with life-saving defibrillators. The devices were to be placed in schools a year ago, but Eyewitness News has learned the majority of schools has yet to comply.

Art McFarland has the story.

There are several school-based defibrillators at Stuyvesant High School, which was among the first of 275 city high schools now equipped with the devices.

Martha Singer, Assistant Principal: "I think it's very important to have any new technology available to save lives."

But nearly 1,000 city schools are not yet equipped with the life-saving devices, in spite of a state law, passed a year and a half ago, requiring all schools to have them.

Rachel Moyer, Defibrillator Advocate: "How many kids have to die before you realize that there's a law that says that you're supposed to have a defibrillator in all public schools?"

Rachel Moyer became an advocate for the devices, after her own son died at an upstate school with no defibrillator.

Rachel Moyer: "Well I sent my child off to basketball game, and he was a healthy kid. And he died."

The city Department of Education has purchased more defibrillators, but they are in storage at a warehouse in Queens. There are said to be hundreds of defibrillators inside, many of which have been storage for months.

James Oddo, (R) NYC City Council: "It borders on negligent that 18 months after the state has passed a law, we still have the Department of Education not complying with that law."

The Department of Education says the seven hours of training required for the machines have stalled their being deployed to all schools; and that there is no designated state funds for that training. And the Department of Education says it expects every school to have one by the end of this school year.

Most NYC Schools Still Have No Defibrillator

© 2003 The E-Accountability Foundation