Articles Posted in Michigan

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By David Wolf, Attorney and Samantha Vloedman, Law Clerk

Published by Child Injury Lawyer Blog

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When a child is being cared for at a day care center, school, summer camp, or other person / entity, a parent should be able to rely on the good nature of people and organizations that the child will be cared for in a nurturing manner by adults who really promote the best interests of their child. Unfortunately, people in trust like child care providers, babysitters, and even family members use these unique opportunities to abuse, neglect, and molest the very children under their care.

A Michigan man was recently convicted for sexually abusing a child at an at home day care center. The man provided transportation for the children and was often in the home where the day care service was provided. He was sentenced for six counts of second degree criminal sexual conduct and two counts of accosting and soliciting a child.

When a child is molested or abused at a day care center, criminal charges can be filed, like those filed against the man in Michigan, and a civil law suit can be filed to recover monetary damages for the victim. Criminal and civil cases have two different burdens of proof. This means that each has a certain level of proof that the prosecutor or plaintiff must show in order to have a defendant found guilty by a jury.

A prosecutor in a criminal case must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the crime. This is the highest burden of proof in the court system. Beyond a reasonable doubt is not a mere possibility that someone else could have committed the crime. Anything is possible. Instead, it means that based on logic or reason, there is only one explanation in the mind of the juror.

A plaintiff in a civil law suit must prove by the greater weight of the evidence that the defendant committed the wrongful act. This standard is less than the standard in a criminal case. Here, the plaintiff only has to show that the defendant more likely than not committed the wrongful act.

When a person molests or abuses a child at a day care center, the person may face both the consequences of prison time and fines through a criminal case and the consequences of a judgment for damages through a civil case. It is best to contact a Child Injury Attorney in the event that a child is molested or abused at a day care center or other location to determine whether a civil law suit can be filed to enforce the legal rights of the child.

A good resource for a parent dealing with the aftermath of a child abused at a day care center or other entity is the book – The ABCs of Child Injury – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – What Every Parent Should Know. This book has chapters on Day Care Center Injuries, School Injuries, Playground Injuries, Water Park and Aquatic Injuries, and other topics. You can get this book for free at The ABCs of Child Injury.

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By David Wolf, Attorney and Samantha Vloedman, Law Clerk

Published by Child Injury Lawyer Blog

Building Blocks Glossy -R - Day Care CenterIn Michigan and other States, parents rely upon day care centers to provide for a safe educational environment. One basic responsibility of the day care center is to supervise the children in a manner so that the children do not wander away from the facility.

In Michigan, a day care owner and worker are facing criminal charges of misdemeanor fourth degree child abuse. The two were charged after a child, that was supposed to be under their supervision, was found in the middle of a busy highway about 200 yards from the day care center. Luckily, a truck driver noticed the child, stopped his truck, and rescued the child from the dangers and risks of the busy highway.

Day care centers are entrusted to supervise and protect the children in their care. When day care centers fail to supervise and protect children, the children can be injured or even killed. Many states have licensing procedures in an effort to make sure that day care centers meet certain minimum standards of care for children. When day care centers fail to follow these standards, the day care center license can be revoked or suspended and the day care center may be shut down.

Losing a license is not the only concern for a day care center. As the two Michigan day care center employees learned, an owner / employee can be charged criminally for failing to properly supervise the children in their care. There are differing degrees of criminal child abuse, neglect, and even manslaughter that day care center owners / employees can face. The degree of the charge determines the amount of jail time the owner / employee may end up serving if the case results in a plea bargain OR criminal conviction through a trial.

In addition, children have legal rights that need to be protected. The parents of children that are injured, abused, or neglected, can file civil lawsuits against the day care centers for failing to supervise and protect the children in the day care center’s care. A civil lawsuit can often help a child to receive monetary damages to cover hospital and medical expenses caused by the negligence of the day care center and its employees.

A good resource for a parent dealing with the aftermath of an injury caused by the negligence of a day care center or other entity is the book – The ABC’s of Child Injury – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – What Every Parent Should Know. This book has chapters on Day Care Center Injuries, School Injuries, Playground Injuries, Water Park and Aquatic Injuries, and other topics. You can get this book for free at The ABCs of Child Injury.

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By Mark Freedman, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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A man from Grand Rapids, Michigan has been sentenced for sexually assaulting a child in his home, where police say his wife ran as an unlicensed day care. Leroy George was sentenced to 12 months in Kent County Jail, five years probation, and six months of home confinement after he serves his jail sentence and will have to register as a sex offender. George pleaded no contest to one count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct. The two other counts of the same charge were ultimately dismissed. The alleged victim is younger than 13-years-old. The child victim informed her parents about the incident, which is how police were involved and ultimately led to George’s July 2010 arrest. Investigators believe that the Georges ran the residential, unlicensed day care for at least three years. For more read Michigan man sentenced after pleading no-contest to 2nd-degree criminal sexual conduct in wife’s unlicensed, day care.

It is essential that parents research the child care facilities in their area before selecting a facility for their children. Typically, a majority of states have Internet sources that can provide the names of licensed day cares as well as past violations.

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By Mark Freedman, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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In Michigan and other States, a party of teens and high school students is often the site of dangers, personal injuries, and, yes, even death. It was reported that Zachary Harp, a 16 year old student from Owendale- Gagetown High School was hit by a car and dragged for approximately one block. He was later airlifted by helicopter to a local hospital but died as a result of the injuries sustained at the scene. The Tuscola County Sheriff’s Office reported that the boy was transported at approximately 4:00 a.m. Another person tried to step in to offer assistance to the victim but this person was also hit by the vehicle. An autopsy will be conducted to determine the cause and manner of the death. Due to the facts and circumstances of the incident, a criminal investigation will be conducted as well. See Owendale-Gagetown teen dead after another teen runs him over, drags his body.

Teen parties can be a lot of fun but they can also be tragic as well. When going out that night, who would have expected that a 16 year old would have died? A strange course of events transpired but it is not that strange for there to be violence and danger when there is a congregation of teens and high school students late at night.

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By Mark Freedman, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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A 3-year-old child was injured in Montcalm County, Michigan after falling in the child’s family barn. According to officers, the child was playing inside the barn when he feel 8 to 10 feet onto a cement floor. According to police, the 3-year-old sustained a serious head injury. The young boy was transported by helicopter to a hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is listed in serious condition. Deputies have ruled this incident an accident. If you would like to read more on this story please see 3-year-old falls from family barn sustains serious head injury.

Young children like 3 year olds often times do not appreciate or recognize the dangers of heights. As such, young children are at risk for injury when playing on or standing on an elevated area. When children are on elevated areas, it is important to have railings and other safety equipment for the protection of children. Supervision is also key to preventing tragic child injuries. Of course, it is difficult to prevent all injuries from occurring. However, simple safety measures and supervision can help avoid many unfortunate incidents from taking place.

While a child’s fall from a hayloft may not be that common, injuries sustained in playgrounds In Michigan and other States are quite common. The same principles of safety measures, safety equipment, and supervision apply to playgrounds. Typically, playgrounds typically have a number of elevated platforms. For young children, the elevated platforms can be quite fun but also quite dangerous. Make sure that the playground is age appropriate for your child and designed in a way that provides for the safety of your child. Always maintain good supervision when your child is in a playground area. Maintaining supervision over a child while he or she is playing will decrease the likelihood that he or she will fall and sustain personal injuries because you, as a supervisor, will be able to quickly spot when the child has climbed too high, is running too fast, or is otherwise engaging in risky behavior on play equipment. Another way to prevent children from sustaining person injuries is to check the play equipment for its condition and safety before allowing children to play on the equipment. If you would like to read more safety tips concerning playground hazards please read Playground Hazards – What Parents, Teachers, Day Care Providers and Others Can Do to Help Prevent Child Personal Injuries on Playgrounds?.

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By Andrew Prine, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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Vicksburg High School’s head football coach, Tom Marchese believes that concussions are more serious than most people think, especially because concussions have long-term effects. Marchese may be on to something. New studies reveal that repeated concussions may cause permanent brain damage that eventually shows up with symptoms such as depression, chronic headaches, early-onset dementia, and/or adult-onset attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Because of the seriousness of concussions and in attempt to protect it teens and younger child athletes, the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) is making “one of the biggest rule changes ever.” Starting this fall, athletes in any sport who show signs of a concussion during a game must be pulled from play and evaluated by a doctor. If a doctor is not immediately available or the doctor has concluded that the athlete did sustain a concussion, the athlete will have to sit out for the rest of the game. And, in either case, the student athlete will not be able to return to play until the athlete gets a doctor’s written permission to resume play. If you would like to read more about this story see MHSAA sets stricter rules for athletes with concussions.

Teenagers and younger children are especially vulnerable physically. Therefore, concussions can have more dramatic effects upon these younger individuals than adults. It is a good start that MHSAA is taking these extra precautions and protecting student athletes.

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By Andrew Prine, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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In Michigan, Governor Jennifer Granholm signed a law into effect to help distinguish or define babysitting from required day care licensing. The law states that babysitting is exempt from Michigan licensing and regulation if the babysitting is provided for free or involves less than $600.00 per year of annual payment or income. See Michigan Law Clarifies Babysitting / Day Care.

A friend or neighbor who gratuitously watches a child is not subject to regulation. With or without this law in effect, there is a problem in Michigan and other States with people who operate a day care center without obtaining a proper license. Parents should be wary and cautious about using such facilities. Without State oversight and inspections, many unlicensed day care centers have safety and supervision issues that put children in danger.

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By Andrew Prine, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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In Michigan and other States, drivers should exercise due caution when making left hand turns across lanes of traffic. This is especially true in school zones or where there are day care centers. In Genoa Township, Michigan, a serious automobile accident took place when a driver (Eric Wint) attempted a turn onto Grand River Avenue. Michigan State Police are conducting an investigation into this accident. According to a Michigan State Trooper, it is believed that Wint may not have seen the other vehicle in this T Bone type of accident. The impact of this crash pushed Wint’s Chevrolet Malibu into a local day care center (School Bell). None of the 40 or so students were injured as a result of this automobile accident. Mr. Wint was transported to the hospital with serious injuries. The other driver was also transported to the hospital and later released. You can read more about this automobile accident and see a news video regarding the crash at Driver in Critical Condition Following Michigan Crash into Car and Day Care Center.

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By Andrew Prine, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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It is clear that passenger vehicles are no match for passenger trains when it comes to a crash or collision. In Canton Township, Michigan, it is reported that up to five teen were killed in an accident involving a passenger train and a passenger automobile. News reports indicate that the driver of the passenger automobile may have ignored a railroad gate by driving around it prior to the crash. It is certainly a tragic accident and a great loss for the families of the teens who died as well as the families of the teens. Amtrak and its officials have taken the position that neither the company or the employees committed any errors or negligence as to this incident. You can read more about this story at Tragic Train Accident in Canton Township, Michigan Leads to Deaths of Teens.

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By Andrew Prine, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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In Michigan and other States, children are often times abused and neglected in child day care centers. When it comes to discipline, many Michigan child care providers use a fist or a belt rather than a calm voice and reason when dealing with children. Corporal punishment in child day care centers is prohibited pursuant to Rule 400.5107, Discipline, Licensing Rules for Michigan Child Care Centers. Punishment in the form of hitting, spanking, biting, pinching and other physical or corporal punishment type of acts are clearly prohibited under this rule. In addition, a child care center can not take away food as punishment or tie up or restrain a child. There are some exceptions to these general rules when the health and safety of the child or others are at risk. Michigan child care centers have a duty to refrain from these acts. If discipline is necessary at the child care center, the child care workers have a duty to promote self control, self direction, self esteem and cooperation rather than resorting to physical violence and corporal punishment.