Recently in Child Injuries Category

September 1, 2015

North Carolina Day Care Sued for Child Injury, Abuse, Neglect


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.
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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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August 24, 2015

South Carolina Group Homes Face Abuse Allegations


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.
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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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July 23, 2015

Child Deaths Prompt Recall of 27 Million Chests and Dressers


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.
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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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June 30, 2015

Eight Cases of E. Coli at South Carolina Daycare Center Confirmed


There is no question that when we drop our children off at daycare each morning, we are putting a lot of trust in the daycare operator to do everything possible to prevent any injuries. Injuries at daycare facilities can happen in a variety of ways. Some cases involve a child not being properly supervised while eating or drinking, and the child chokes on the food. Other cases involving inattentive daycare staff allowing children to bite or otherwise assault each other. There are also many cases involving foodborne illness.

escherichia-coli-1018465-m.jpgAccording to a recent report from WBTW News 13, officials with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Controls (DHEC) has just confirmed an eighth case of E. coli, which has been traced to a now-closed daycare in Greenwood. While there are more cases possible, there has been one confirmed death of a child as result of an E. coli infection from the suspect daycare facility.

One of the owners of the daycare facility made a public statement, saying they volunteered to close the business as soon as the source of the outbreak was confirmed, and they have been working hard to clean and sterilize the building. DHEC officials say they have not identified how the E. coli strain became introduced to this particular daycare, but they are aware that four of the eight cases involved the same exact strain of E. coli bacteria. Some of the E. coli victims worked at the daycare facility, and the remaining victims were children enrolled at the center.

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June 20, 2015

CPSC: "Anchor It!" to Prevent Child Injuries Due to Furniture Tip-Over


Almost every American household has a television. Many have more than one. While parents are often concerned about their young children watching too much of it, these sets cause a greater hazard: Tip-Overs. television.jpg

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that just between 2011 and 2013, there were 11,000 children under the age of 18 treated in hospitals for injuries involving televisions or televisions and furniture. In fact, between 2000 and 2013, 430 people - mostly children under 10 - were killed as a result of a falling television and furniture.

When all types of furniture are factored in, there are 38,000 people treated annually in tip-over accidents. Again, most of these are children. To them, the home is a playground. They explore. They climb. But the result can be a serious injury or even fatality.

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May 12, 2015

Mother Blames Daycare for Child's Injuries


In recent months, we have been hearing more and more about daycare injuries. While some daycare operators and insurance companies like to believe this is just the latest fad in personal injury litigation, this is far from truth. The reason for an increase in personal injury lawsuits involving daycare accidents is not because there are more cases, but because the media is finally starting to give this serious and often preventable issue the attention it deserves.

childgroup.jpgOne of these tragic injury accounts can be seen in a recent article for the WV Record. Here, a mother is alleging her child's serious injuries were a direct result of her daughter's daycare center's negligent conduct. According to reports, plaintiff alleged in July of 2013, daycare employees did not supervise plaintiff's 13-month-old daughter when she tried to crawl out of her bed and, in the process, fell to the floor, sustaining an injury. Plaintiff further alleged daycare operator called her and told her that her child had fallen. Mother decided to leave work early and was on her way to the daycare center to pick up her daughter when daycare center allegedly called her back and told her not to worry, as her child was fine and child did not need any medical attention.

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April 23, 2015

Two-Year-Old Boy Seriously Injured in North Carolina Lawn Mower Accident


Every day, we are around equipment and machinery that could inflict serious bodily injury. Whether we are riding in car, an elevator, an escalator, or using any number tools, we are at some level of risk of suffering a serious personal injury.

Most of them time, that risk is extremely small. We trust the companies that have manufactured this equipment to take all feasible precautions to make their respective products safe. However, sometimes accidents still happen, and those accidents can have serious consequences.

mower-spindle-minus-blade-1379695-m.jpgAccording to a recent report from Time Warner Cable News Charlotte, a two-year-old boy was riding on a lawn mower operated by a family member. At some point during the ride, the boy was let down from the riding mower and got his foot caught in the blade mechanism. The lawn mower blade caused severe personal injury to the young victim's foot. Family members called 911, and EMTs arrived to provide immediate medical attention. Due to the severity of the boy's injuries, EMTs called for a medevac helicopter. After a helicopter arrived on scene, paramedics transported him to a pediatric level-one trauma center in North Carolina. The extent of his injuries is not yet known, though it is believed they were extremely severe.

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April 10, 2015

Limones v. Lee County School District - Automatic Defibrillator Responsibility in Schools


The Occupational Health & Safety Administration reports an estimated 460,000 people in the U.S. die of sudden cardiac arrest every year. Of those, nearly 10,000 are children and many have no prior sign of heart disease.
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That is more than the number of people who die from guns, breast cancer, cervical cancer, motor vehicle accidents, Alzheimer's disease, suicide, prostate cancer, house fires and HIV - combined. However, having an Automated External Defibrillator nearby when someone suffers from sudden cardiac arrest can increase the survival rate by almost 70 percent. It's required equipment for firefighters and paramedics.

Nineteen states - including South Carolina - require it in schools. (North Carolina is not among those.) Some even require them in all government buildings, health clubs and other facilities, and "Good Samaritan" laws have been passed in order to protect people who try to use them on someone who may be dying in order to encourage swift action.The chance of survival declines 10 percent for every minutes defibrillation is delayed. Meanwhile, the average response times for first-responders is 8 to 12 minutes nationally.

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April 2, 2015

Child's Brain Injury Prompts Recall of South Carolina Elevators


The catastrophic brain injury suffered by a 10-year-old boy who was crushed in an elevator has prompted the South Carolina-based elevator distributor to recall about 240 of the machines. elevator.jpg

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Elmira Hydraulic elevators, installed mostly in homes, have been cited in three reports of elevator injuries - including this one, sustained by a child visiting the state from Maryland. The recall of Coastal Caroline Elevators (formerly Seaside Elevator) encompasses all models distributed through residential home builders (including DRHorton) in South Carolina from January 2006 through December 2009. The reportedly defective elevators were in the price range of $16,000 to $25,000.

According to the recall notice, the elevator can operate while the gate is open, which puts riders at crushing hazard. The residential hydraulic elevators were installed in homes with numerous floors, and they have a manual, accordion-style gate door. The label "Cambridge Elevating" is on the button panel. Consumers are instructed to immediately stop using the machines and contact the distributor for a free repair.

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February 27, 2015

Monfore v. Phillips - $1M Medical Malpractice Verdict Affirmed


Federal appellate court justices for the Tenth Circuit issued a clear warning to defendants who argue for more time in the wake of last-minute settlement deals wrangled by co-defendants to avoid trial: Don't count on it.
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In Monfore v. Phillips, a doctor was accused of medical malpractice - alongside several other physicians. As often happens in these cases, defendants all presented a united front as the litigation wore on. There are, of course, many benefits to this, such as reduced costs by pooling resources.

However, it's quite common for litigation to end in settlement agreements prior to trial, and it's not unheard of for these developments to occur even on the eve of trial - or during trial. So when every other defendant broke rank on the united front and struck a deal with plaintiff just before trial, the sole remaining defendant doctor claimed he had been blindsided and needed more time to develop a new legal strategy, one that would have pinned the blame on his former co-defendants.

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February 26, 2015

Needham v. Price - Parental Immunity Doctrine Won't Bar NC Child Injury Claim


The parental immunity doctrine is a long-standing legal principle holding that minor children can't sue their parents for tort-related claims, and parents can't sue their children either. The general idea is to avoid undermining parental authority and control over his or her children, and also to maintain the peace of the family unit.
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Most courts adhere to the 1891 Mississippi Supreme Court ruling in Hewlett v. George in which it was found so long as a parent is under obligation to care for the child, the child is under the reciprocal duty to aid, comfort and obey. Criminal laws will provide children protection from parental wrongdoing or violence, the theory goes.

But, there are many exceptions to this doctrine. It's not an issue that comes up often, but it did recently arise in the North Carolina Court of Appeals case of Needham v. Price, where it is alleged willful and malicious injury was caused. In those cases, parents cannot expect immunity, and that's how the appellate court ruled in overturning a previous summary judgment favoring defendant father.

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February 25, 2015

Olatoye v. Burlington Coat Factory - NC Slip-and-Fall Case to Continue


The North Carolina Court of Appeals reversed a summary judgment favoring the defendant in a slip-and-fall case at a large box chain store a few years ago.
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The trial court had granted the favorable ruling to the store, but on appeal, plaintiff argued genuine issues of material fact existed that precluded such an early finding, and the appellate court agreed.

Although trial court judges can grant a favorable ruling to one side or another prior to trial, it almost always must be that the claims are defeated or proven as a matter of law. Where central issues of fact are still in dispute, those are matters that must be parsed during trial.

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February 23, 2015

Study: Child Toys Cause Injury Every 3 Minutes in U.S.


An alarming new study indicates injuries caused by children's toys is a fast-growing problem. In fact, the number of toy-related injuries has shot up by nearly 40 percent since 1990, according to the latest edition of Clinical Pediatrics.
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With more than 3 million children treated in hospital emergency rooms for toy-related injuries over the course of more than a decade, that breaks down to one child every 3 minutes. Study authors say that is in fact a low estimate because it does not include the number of children who seek treatment in urgent care centers, doctor's offices or not at all.

It also doesn't encompass the number of children who died as a result of toy-related injuries, which according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission occur most often in association with small-part choking hazards, balloon asphyxiations and riding toys, such as push scooters.

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February 11, 2015

Ramseyer v. Dalisky - $40 Million Birth Injury Litigation Underway


At first glance, the 7-year-old boy appears healthy, with bright blue eyes, long limbs and blondish hair. But his parents say the depth of his disabilities are still being discovered, as each developmental stage brings additional challenges.
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Suffering from cerebral palsy, he will likely need a brace on his right leg for the rest of his life. His frontal lobe - the part of his brain that aids in socialization, decision-making and emotions, as well as portions of the brain that control motor skills, hearing and vision - sustained 20 percent damage. The cause, his parents allege in their $40 million lawsuit, was a lack of oxygen at birth caused by OBGYN's failure to appropriately respond to clear fetal distress.

While $40 million may seem a staggering amount, it's worth noting the brain damage is permanent, and he will likely require ongoing care the rest of his life. And his injuries, according to plaintiffs in Ramseyer v. Dalisky, were 100 percent preventable.

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February 2, 2015

Myers v. City of West Plains - Lack of Parental Supervision as Bar to Damage Recovery


An 11-year-old boy who suffered serious and permanent damage to his knee after falling on glass shards that littered a local park is entitled to $425,000 in damages, affirmed a Missouri appellate court recently.
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The fact that the child's mother was not present at the park to supervise at the time of the incident did play a role in reducing the park's liability from 100 percent to 85 percent. However, despite the city's objection, appellate court ruled trial court properly gave an instruction to jurors on the matter of lacking parental supervision as a "stray issue" that should not greatly sway the outcome of the case.

Both sides in Myers v. City of West Plains had agreed prior to trial the lack of supervision hadn't played a significant role in the fall, and likely would not have prevented it from happening. Yet, during the voir dire process of vetting jurors, many said they would be prejudiced in finding a city liable for injury to an unsupervised child. Thus, the court gave an instruction to jurors regarding how such information should be weighted.

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