Parents trust that day care providers are attending to children and keeping them safe from harm. In addition to normal care needs, including water, food and security, day care providers have a duty to act reasonably and ensure appropriate supervision. This month, a North Carolina couple filed a $10 million dollar wrongful death lawsuit against the U.S. government after their infant child suffocated at a Fort Bragg day care in March 2012.
Wrongful death suits are an available legal action for anyone who has lost a child, spouse, or parent due to neglect, recklessness, or intent. Our Charlotte wrongful death attorneys are experienced in investigating fatalities and dedicated to protecting the rights of families who have suffered a loss. We are committed to helping victims as well as raising awareness to prevent future accidents and injuries.
According to the lawsuit, the parents are filing claims of wrongful death and negligent infliction of emotional distress after they lost their 4-month-old son. The parents were distraught after they also discovered the care attendant would not face any criminal charges for the death. Whether a death was caused by intent, recklessness or negligence, civil charges can still be filed even if the defendant is not being held criminally liable. While a prosecutor must prove “beyond a reasonable doubt,” a civil plaintiff must only prove by “preponderance of the evidence,” which can be easier to establish liability.
The lawsuit hinges on a surveillance camera video that captured both the struggle and the ultimate death of the infant. According to the lawsuit and the video evidence, the infant was placed on his stomach and struggled to breath. He was unable to roll over and a child care worker stood by cleaning and doing other tasks, but failing to check on the infant. Even when the infant began fussing, no one checked on him to make sure he could lift his head.
When the 4-month-old began to kick, he lifted the blanket which bunched up near his mouth. Soon after, he stopped breathing. Another employee came in several minutes later and stated that the child didn’t look right. Sill no one checked to make sure he was okay. Nearly 10 minutes after the baby stopped moving, the caretaker realized he was not breathing and began CPR with breaths, but not chest compressions. Finally, a staff member called 911.
Emergency workers who arrived at the scene took the infant to the Army Medical Center where he was then transferred to Pediatric Intensive Care. Doctors established that infant suffered severe brain injury caused by oxygen deprivation. The parents were forced to take their infant off life support and his organs were donated.
There was also additional evidence of negligence prior to the accident. Even though the procedures state that no child should for more than 15 minutes unattended in a bouncy seat, the infant was recorded left in the same seat for 90 minutes. In the event of a tragedy and suspected negligence, an experienced advocate can review evidence, identify responsible parties, and pursue compensation.
If you or someone you love has suffered an injury, contact Lee Law Offices, P.A. for a free and confidential consultation with our North and South Carolina attorneys. Call 1-800-887-1965.
More Blog Entries:
Carolina Charter Bus Accident Involves 28 Students, Kills Driver, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, June 18, 2013.
New Film Captures Reality of Brain Injuries, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, August 2, 2013.