Articles Posted in Child Injuries

Parents in South Carolina are working hard to pay their bills and take care of their families. Federal data tells us in most U.S. families, all the adults work. Fewer than 1 in 3 children have a full-time, stay-at-home parent. In order for that to be possible, families must entrust their young children to other caregivers. Often, that is a day care facility. childgroup

Approximately 11 million children are in non-relative child care programs across the country. Although many of these places are well-run, too often, daycare injuries result in hospitalization, long-term recovery, disability and death. Part of the issue had long been a lack of oversight. This is one area at least we can say in which South Carolina has greatly improved in recent years. Unfortunately, it took a horrific case of abuse and murder to spur those changes.

It’s been more than 20 years since the operator of a private home daycare in Irmo was investigated for the deaths of two babies in the injury of a third. A case was filed against the woman in 1993, and she was eventually sentenced to prison for life. Horrific as the case was, it forced the state to confront systemic regulatory failures of in-home day cares. It also exposed problems with how social workers and police investigated child injuries and deaths and how pathologists determined whether those injuries/ deaths were natural or the result of a crime. These changes have helped to improve safety for South Carolina’s children, though parents and loved ones still need to remain vigilant. Even where daycare workers do not intentionally harm children, acts of negligence (i.e., failure to supervise, failure to properly feed, failure to maintain playground equipment, etc.) can have the same tragic effect. Continue reading

As students head back to school this semester, there are a range of potential dangers some may face on school grounds, on the bus or while playing sports. childhand

School districts do have a responsibility to properly supervise children and keep them safe. The extent of that responsibility may vary depending on the circumstances and age of the child. When child injury does occur, it’s important to seek out an experienced injury lawyer because these cases are complex due to the fact the school district is a branch of the government. That means assertions of sovereign immunity may need to be overcome, and these are not simple matters.

In the recent case of Benda v. Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City, the question was whether parents were entitled to file a loss of consortium claim against the school district for the severe injuries suffered by their son, when loss of consortium claims are typically reserved for spousal losses.

For those who may be unfamiliar, loss of consortium is a type of claim in which a person alleges damages were suffered by certain family members of a person who was injured or killed by the negligent or intentional wrongful acts of another person. This type of claim can be filed by loved ones of the victim, though it is usually the spouse that reserves this right. Claims for filial loss of consortium may be filed in North Carolina, though these rights vary from state-to-state. Filial loss of consortium claims are meant to compensate a parent or parents for the loss of love and companionship of a child. Some states also allow parental consortium claims.  Continue reading

Approximately 11 million children in the U.S. are in child care programs across the country. But daycare injuries and fatalities are vastly under-reported, according to Child Care Aware of America. That’s largely because there is no federal reporting requirement for child fatalities in day care and state reporting requirements vary widely. In fact, 12 states don’t require child care centers to report deaths at all. toddler

There is also no national statistic for how many injuries occur at daycare, though some states have taken initiative to delve into the problem. For example, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in Missouri reported in 2012 that 41 of the state’s 45 deaths over the course of three year occurred at unlicensed facilities. But even in those locations that are licensed, it can be difficult for parents to get a straight answer about what happened. Even worse, many facilities do not carry liability insurance in the event an injury does occur.

Or, they may find, as in the recent case of World Harvest Church v. Grange Mut. Cas. Ins. Co., that insurance won’t cover it because it asserts the injury was the result of intentional criminal misconduct. So the big question in the World Harvest case, before the Ohio Supreme Court, was whether the injuries suffered by the child were the result of abuse or “corporal punishment.” Continue reading

Per N.C. Gen. Stat. 1-15(c) and N.C. Gen. Stat. 1-52(16), the statute of limitations on medical malpractice lawsuits in North Carolina is generally three years, though in certain exceptional circumstances, it could be 10 years. Those timelines are from the date the injury occurs or from the date the injury is discovered (or could reasonably have been discovered) or the cause of injury became known. pregnantbaby

However, plaintiffs need to be aware that the rules are different if the case is being filed under the Federal Tort Claims Act. Why would a medical malpractice case be filed in federal court? The answer has to do with how hospitals and other facilities are funded. If they receive federal grant funding from the U.S. Public Health Services program, the hospital and its programs would fall under the umbrella of FTCA. This means that instead of the three years North Carolina plaintiffs would normally have to file, they’ll only get two years.

In the recent case of Blanche v. U.S., this statutory timeline became the primary roadblock between plaintiff, whose daughter was diagnosed with Erb’s Palsy after suffering a birth injury, and compensation for that injury.  Continue reading

At first, it brought a smile to the faces of many children and teens, as they shredded the wrapping paper containing one of the most sought-after gifts this season. emergency

But now, many of those recipients – and their parents – are far from smiling after reports of explosions, fires and other mishaps involving the devices – which, despite the name, don’t actually “hover” off the ground. They are better described as self-balancing, motorized scooters.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reported as of Dec. 29, there were 70 reports of emergency room visits nationwide due to falls and collisions. But there is evidence to suggest the actual figure is much higher.  Continue reading

We instinctually seek to protect children from harm. We make sure they can’t reach an open flame or touch the sharp edge of a blade. We keep guns out of reach and we clear coins and other small choking hazards from the hands of toddlers. blinds

Window cord blinds, on the other hand, don’t look all that dangerous. In homes throughout the country, these products are silent killers. The danger, as as been proven time and again, is that there is a risk the cord can get wrapped around a child’s neck, causing strangulation.

Although the industry has insisted that its own voluntary manufacturing guidelines and educational programs were enough to curb the danger, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is renewing its fight to ban blinds with potentially dangerous cords. Continue reading

The manufacturer of many popular children’s products has agreed to pay $3.5 million in fines to settle a case in which federal authorities alleged the company failed to report to federal regulators on a dangerous defect on one of its high chairs.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reported that phil&teds created an unreasonable risk of serious injury to children with its MeToo high chair. Not only was the product defective, the agency stated, the company intentionally made claims that were false or misrepresentations when the CPSC investigators first launched an inquiry in 2011.

But despite that hefty figure, it’s likely the company will only be forced to pay a $200,000 penalty. That’s because all but this much of the fine has been suspended, based on sworn depositions by company leaders that the firm can’t afford to pay any more than this without closing shop.
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The parents of a 5-year-old boy have filed a lawsuit against a day care alleging a teacher at the center hit the child, pushed book cases at him and then allowed another child to taunt and strike him.
The Winston-Salem day care center is accused of negligent hiring of the teacher and also for negligent supervision of her actions. The two teachers accused in the case are now facing criminal charges, and they are reportedly no longer employed at the center.

As reported by the Winston-Salem Journal ,the center was the subject of a previous complaint of child abuse and neglect a month before this incident reportedly occurred.
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A number of group homes in South Carolina have received millions in taxpayer funding the last few decades, despite dozens of allegations of abuse involving those in their care.
A few have been forced to shut down, but others remain open.

One of those now shuttered was in Belton. The group home for troubled youth received an estimated $1.5 million annually in state funding. And yet, according to a recent investigation by the Post and Courier, the facility was investigated more than three dozen times for alleged abuse and neglect of the children there since 2000.

However, it wasn’t until a personal injury lawsuit was filed by one of the former residents, now a 23-year-old man, that the facility actually closed its doors. His lawsuit alleges he was raped and tortured by staff members and their friends. He claims he reported the abuse to a social worker and another employee, but nothing was done. Eventually, he said, he just gave up. And he wasn’t the only one – and neither was that facility.
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A furniture company is recalling 27 million dressers and chests because they have the potential to tip over and crush children if they are not anchored to the wall, the Consumer Product Safety Commission has just announced.
Last year, two children were killed after chests made by Ikea fell onto and crushed them, the furniture maker said. Additionally, there are at least three other child deaths dating back to 1989 that involve other models of furniture. The particular model involved in the two most recent incidents were Ikea’s Malm chests. These models were also involved in tip-over accidents that led to four child injuries. There were a total of 14 tipping incidents reported to the company by consumers using this product.

The recall notice indicates that rather than returning the furniture to stores, customers can either pick up or order a free wall anchor kit that can be affixed to the affected items. In the meantime, the unanchored furniture items should be removed out of areas where children may encounter them.
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