Articles Posted in Child Injuries

Duty of care is the basis of any negligence claim. In tort law, it’s the legal obligation imposed on an individual requiring adherence to a standard of care reasonable while performing an act that could foreseeably injure others.backflip

If defendant owed no duty of care to plaintiff or a limited duty of care to plaintiff, it may be very difficult or impossible to prove negligence.

Businesses owe customers a duty of care, though the level of that may vary depending on:

  • The type of business;
  • The specific hazards therein;
  • The age of customers.

For example, a day care business will owe a much higher duty of care to the children in its care than will a grocery store to shoppers. What exactly that level is might be up for dispute in individual cases. Continue reading

Parents put a lot of faith in the makers of baby products. We trust that items used to carry, feed and soothe our infants will be manufactured with the utmost care and to the highest standards. Unfortunately, as a recent Reuters Health report reveals, that may not always be the face

A new study conducted by the Center for Injury Research and Policy concluded a child under the age of 3 is injured every eight minutes as a result of accidents related to baby products, such as high chairs, carriers, strollers, walkers and cribs. On average, that means there are 66,000 injuries a year – and that figure only counts the children whose injuries landed them in the hospital emergency department. The report, recently published in the journal Pediatrics, indicates roughly four out of five of these cases can be attributed to falls.

What many are likely to find so troubling about this report is the fact that in 2017, with all our quality control standards and federal regulation, we are still having so many infant product injuries. Many of these incidents are head injuries, including concussions and traumatic brain injuries. In fact, this is the No. 1 reason young children wind up hospitalized for product-related injuries. Continue reading care centers have become a reality for most families, as the majority of households have two working parents or caregivers. According to Child Care Aware of America, there are approximately 4,100 center-based child care programs in North Carolina, employing some 25,000 workers. The average salary for those workers is about $21,000 annually.

These facilities are entrusted to care for vulnerable infants and young children, who often cannot yet fully communicate and are unable to defend themselves. These centers have a significant responsibility in ensuring the children in their care receive the appropriate supervision and that staffers are fully vetted. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen.

Take the following case recently reported by, wherein two day care workers are accused of initiating a “fight club” of toddlers, who were encouraged to fight one another so that the day care workers could record the incidents on their cell phones.  Continue reading

A North Carolina couple is suing the Greenville Health System in South Carolina, as well as a doctor, two medical service providers, and a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) nurse for profound and permanent injuries they alleged were inflicted on the couple’s premature newborn

According to WYFF NBC-4, the baby suffered from six broken ribs, bleeding on the brain, and retinal hemorrhages after being in the care of one nurse in particular. Although she was not charged criminally, she was fired. An internal investigation uncovered another prior case in which an infant in her care wound up with a broken arm. She had blamed that injury on the baby’s mother, whom she said was careless in dressing the child.

Now, the parents of this baby say he has been left with profound and potentially permanent physical and mental disabilities as a result of wrongdoing and negligence by the hospital staff.

Continue reading

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

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