By Scott Zahler, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network
In Jonesboro, Georgia, a toddler (Jazmin Green – age 2) died because she was left in a hot day care van while staff members and other children were inside a Chuck E. Cheese restaurant. What went wrong? The simple is answer “Everything went wrong.” By having a policy in place that is followed, tragedies and deaths of this nature can be and will be avoided. A driver’s log should have each and every child on the list when the day care van departs the day care facility. Upon arrival, a roll call should be taken while the children and staff are on the van. Every person should exit the van with another roll call. Then, there should be a sweep or walk through of the van by one staff member and then another sweep or walk through by another staff member to make sure the van is empty. When the children enter the restaurant or field trip location, another roll call should be taken. There are no additional costs and no expensive equipment necessary for such a safety measure – just a pen and a piece of paper. Tragically, Jazmin Green died because such safety measures were not followed by the day care center – Marlo’s Magnificent Early Learning Center. As a result, a family is in shock and grief over the tragedy. The phone call and subsequent hospital visit by Jazmin’s mother, April McAlister, were two things that a mother should never experience. The mother was informed upon arrival at the hospital that Jazmin was in cardiac arrest. A 2 year old in cardiac arrest – this is something that should have never – never happened. See Child Dies After Being Left in Jonesboro Day Care Center Van.
The family of Jazmin Green can proceed with a wrongful death case against the day care center and staff. This would be a civil proceeding or a civil lawsuit for damages sustained by mother and father for the untimely and negligent death of Jazmin Green. There may also be a criminal proceeding or criminal case that results from the incident. The criminal case would be handled by by the local prosecutor and local law enforcement. There are different standards of proof and different laws in place for civil and criminal cases. For a civil case, the focus would be the negligent conduct of the day care center, failure to follow State day care policies and procedures, and failing to following day care policies and procedures. The criminal case (if one is filed) would depend on the Georgia laws in place and the standards or elements of the crime. Typically, the standard or burden of proof for a Georgia criminal case is greater than that of a civil case for the same set of facts.
A Georgia child injury lawyer can help families sort through the legal issues that include medical bills, medical treatment, police investigation, Georgia state and local laws, day care regulations, damages / compensations, probate issues, and other matters when there is a wrongful death of a child.