Family of Autistic Teen Getting $7.5M in California Golf Cart Death Settlement

October 6, 2020

The mother of an autistic teenager who died in a golf cart crash at a Southern California high school will receive $7.5 million in a lawsuit settlement.

The agreement with the Orange Unified School District was announced by attorneys for the mother of 15-year-old Emmanuel Perez.

The lawsuit contended that Perez, who had behavioral issues, was left unsupervised when he jumped into the electric cart on Sept. 9, 2019 at El Modena High School in Orange.

The cart sped forward and hit a metal railing. Perez suffered chest and abdominal injuries and died at a hospital.

Attorneys for the boy’s mother contended that instructional aides had left him alone with the cart’s ignition turned on and that Perez inadvertently hit the accelerator during a tantrum.

The school district has denied wrongdoing and has said that two aides with the boy had tried to talk him out of the cart and tried to block it when it began moving forward.

In addition to the money, the district agreed to evaluate the golf carts for safety, get rid of obsolete vehicles, conduct training for drivers and place a bench in Perez’s honor in the school garden, attorneys said.

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