Articles Posted in Ohio

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 By  Andrew Baker, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney

Building Blocks LIn Ohio and other States, licensed day care centers are regulated and overseen by a state social service agency. In Ohio, it is the Department of Children and Family Services is the social service agency that regulates day care centers.   When a facility is cited by the Department or charged by the police with failing to provide appropriate care, sanctions can result in the form of fines, arrest, license probation, and license suspension.   A caregiver, individually, can be arrested and fined as well.  It should be noted that the administrative proceeding and criminal proceeding are quite different than an insurance claim and civil case.   When rules and regulations are violated, the state can step in to discipline and fine the facility and / or its staff members.  For a civil case or an insurance claim, the elements of a case are a bit different especially when it comes to the element of damages.  For instance, a facility may violate a bunch of different building codes and get shut down by the state; however, if there are no harm caused to any of the children – there may not be a civil case or insurance claim to pursue.  Just because a day care center violates a rule or regulation or even engages in conduct that is criminal in nature – this does not mean that there will be a big settlement or any settlement for that matter on behalf of the child.
For day care center insurance claims or cases, there are typically four elements to consider:
1. Duty;
2. Breach of Duty;
3. Causation; and
4. Damages.
 
In baseball, if a player bats .500 – he is an amazing player.  That means that for every 4 appearances at the plate, the batter gets 2 hits.   As such, going 2 for 4 in any professional baseball game is a very good statistic.  Of course baseball is much different than the pursuit of a legal case or claim; however, the analogy is an important one.   Let’s take a look at a day care case. If you can only prove 2 of the 4 elements, that is not respectable at all for a day care center case. In fact, a case that lacks causation and damages would get thrown out of court if it was filed or pursued.
As such, it is important to be able to prove that damages / injuries resulted from the breach of duty on the part of the day care center and its staff.  It can be quite complicated and confusing getting through the maze of issues that present themselves in a typical case.  As such, it is recommended that a parent contact a Child Injury Lawyer for advice, consultation, guidance, and legal representation.
The book titled – The ABCs of Child Injury – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – What Every Parent Should Know – has chapters on Day Care Center Injuries, School Injuries, Playground Injuries, and other topics. You can get this book for free at The ABCs of Child Injury.
 
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By  Andrew Baker, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Building Blocks Glossy - Q - Day Care CenterIn Ohio and other states, parents rely on day care centers to supervise their children during the busy work day.  For many parents, there is no choice but to use the services of a day care center.  It is certainly a challenge to provide the support of the family while paying for day care. Ideally, a child is placed in and cared for in a day care center that provides a safe, clean, and educational environment for the children.  Unfortunately, for far too many children, many day care centers are actually unsafe, unclean, and provide little in the way of education to the children enrolled in the child care program.   One would think that the State entity in charge of licensing and inspecting day care centers would evaluate all aspects of the day care center including the cleanliness, safety, and educational value of the facility.
It has been recently reported that only a few of the 7,200 publicly funded day care centers in Ohio actually have the state’s highest education standards.   It is estimated that only 20 % of these day care programs are enrolled in a program that actually rates the educational quality of the day care program.   The staffing standards of a Ohio day care center are quite minimal in nature.  A child care provider needs only have a high school diploma to work in a licensed day care center.  There are no additional requirements of higher education and specialized training in early childhood education.  As such, the training of child care providers of many day care centers do not even attempt to compare to the very few facilities that have a 5 star rating.  You can read more about these issues at Ohio Rates Few Day Care Centers for Educational Quality. 
What if a child is injured in a day care center?  What are the rights of the injured child?  Well, let’s first discuss what makes for a case and what does not.  Just because a child suffers an injury in a day care center does not mean that a case or claim can be pursued on behalf of the injured child.  Let’s face it, children from time to time get hurt even at their homes while engaged in ordinary every day activities.  A day care center is not an absolute insurer for the safety of children under their care. In other words, a day care center is not required to “guarantee” that the child will be injury free during the time of enrollment.   However, if the day care center and its staff caused or contributed to causing the injuries at issue – then a case or claim can be pursued  Let’s discuss an example.   Let’s say that a child is playing in the classroom.  The child is 3 years old.  The teacher left a jar full of coins on a table within the reach of at the children.  The child picked up a quarter and accidentally swallows the quarter.  The child is rushed to the hospital and a procedure is required to remove the quarter. There are follow up visits with the pediatrician.   This particular incident could have been easily avoided if the day care center kept the jar of coins out of the reach of the children.  It is foreseeable that a 3 year old will play with any objects within reach including coins. It is also common for children especially infants and toddlers to put objects in their mouth.  As such, this particular incident was both foreseeable and preventable.  A case can be pursued based on this fact pattern; however, the value of the case will be based not the resulting harm caused to the child.  This particular case would be evaluated differently than a case in which a child fractures his leg and requires two surgeries and a year of rehabilitation. 
The book titled – The ABCs of Child Injury – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – What Every Parent Should Know – has chapters on Day Care Center Injuries, Sports Injuries, School Injuries, Playground Injuries, and other topics. You can get this book for free at The ABCs of Child Injury. 
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By Andrew Baker, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney

Bandage Child InjuryChildren, especially toddlers, are unsteady on their feet. It is common for a child to fall throughout the day.  While in a day care center, summer camp, or school, a child may fall through no fault of the child care providers.  Then again, some falls are preventable with better maintenance of the facility and / or with better supervision.   Since child care providers should know in advance that children are prone to falling, safety precautions should be put in place to prevent falls and / or to prevent serious personal injuries from resulting from a fall.   Let’s take an example.  
Let’s say that a day care center organized a game of tag on the concrete patio area.  There were twenty kids of all ages playing with just one child care provider.  The game got rough but the day care center worker was over on the side of the patio area busy with her mobile phone.   During the game of tag, a 10 year old ran into one of the 3 year old.  As a result of the fall, the 3 year old suffered a serious head / brain injury and was rushed to the hospital.   When evaluating potential cases like these, there are four essential elements are are considered:
1. Duty;
2. Breach of Duty;
3. Causation; and
4. Damages.
As to the above example, the day care center had a duty to supervise the children. Furthermore, the selection for the game of tag on a concrete surface was a bad idea. Furthermore, having larger and older children play a contact type of game with smaller children was another bad idea.   Was it foreseeable that a child would be injured during this activity?  The answer is absolutely yes.  The day care center put this child in harm’s way with limited to no supervision.   The elements of a case can be established.   The burden is on the parents through their attorney to prove the elements of a case.  The fact that a child fell and was injured does not without further proof of negligence on the part of the day care center adequately proof up a case. 
There was a report of a death as a potential result of a fall  a Ohio day care center recently. It was reported that a 7 year old child died at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.   The news story titled Police Investigate Death of Child at Home Based Day Care Center  did not have much in the way of details to determine if the incident was foreseeable and / or preventable.   An investigation is pending.   When a child dies under these circumstances, an autopsy and forensic investigation are typically performed by state and / or local officials.
A good resource for parents is the book – The ABCs of Child Injury – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – What Every Parent Should Know – has chapters on Day Care Center Injuries, Playground Injuries, School Injuries, Theme Park and Attraction Injuries, and other topics. You can get this book for free at The ABCs of Child Injury. 
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First Aid KitBy  Andrew Baker, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney

Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

In Ohio and other States, day care centers have a duty to properly staff and supervise children under the care of the day care center.  When corners are cut and rules are violated, children can and do get hurt. Many such personal injuries sustained by children at a day care center are avoidable.  At any given day care center, there are dangers for small children.   Even a mop bucket can be dangerous to a small child.  Yes, that’s right, a small child could drown in full mop bucket when there are no caregivers around to properly protect the child.  There are also electrical hazards to children.   There are many reports in which a child wanders out of a facility and into a nearby street or parking lot. This could have fatal consequences.  Again, many such incidents take place due to staff and supervision issues.   A watchful eye, common sense, due diligence, and a sense of caring can go a long way to providing for the health, safety, and welfare of children in the day care setting.

A burn incident was reported at a day care center in Columbus, Ohio.  It was reported that a 1 year old girl was seriously burned as a result of gaining access (without supervision) to a water dispenser that was equipped with a hot water function.  The child suffered significant personal injuries in the the face, chest, and even her esophagus.  This child should have been provided with better supervision. Furthermore, this kind of equipment should have been kept out of the reach of children. It would also be helpful to have some kind of locking mechancism for the area and / or equipment to further safeguard the day care center.  It was also reported the facility at issue – Kids College Day Care Center – had over dozens of violations of the applicable day care center rules and regulations.

When selecting a day care center, it is important for parents to review the license for the day care center and the survey history for the day care center.  By contacting the local and state agencies responsible for day care center oversight, a parent can be better informed as to the history and quality of the selected day care center.  Of course, there is also a value to the intuition and common sense of the parents and guardians.  Visit the facility at random times, ask questions, and be on the look out for anything that seems off or dangerous to your child or other children in the day care center.

The book – The ABCs of Child Injury – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – What Every Parent Should Know – has chapters on Day Care Center Injuries, School Injuries, Playground Injuries, Automobile Accidents, Settlement / Compensation, and other topics. You can get this book for free at The ABCs of Child Injury.

When a child is injured at a day care center as a result of a burn incident or some other type of incident, it is often helpful to discuss the legal matter and respective rights of the injured child with a Child Injury Lawyer.  An experienced lawyer can provide a voice for the injured child and the parents.

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By Will Brown, Attorney and David Alan Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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In Ohio and other States, children are, at times, injured as passengers in motor vehicles. In most accidents, the child is injured as a properly seated and restrained passenger in the vehicle. While in other accidents involving injuries, a child suffers personal injuries due to the lack of a seat belt and / or riding in or neat the vehicle as a stunt of sorts. For instance, some children have been injured while riding on the hood or trunk of vehicles. Others have been injured when towed by a vehicle while riding a skateboard, scooter, bicycle, or other wheeled device. Whether a child is injured by run of the mill automobile accident or one involving unsafe riding or stunts, a case or claim can be pursued by the parents of the injured child for the damages sustained as a result of the automobile accident, bicycle accident, and / or pedestrian accident.

In Chillicothe, Ohio, an 11 year old boy suffered serious personal injuries in the form of a head injury as a result of an automobile accident / passenger accident. The boy was riding on the trunk of the vehicle with another boy. You can read more about this incident at Boy Injured Arter Riding on Trunk of Vehicle.

Sitting or riding in a vehicle in anything but a standard and approved seat can be dangerous if the vehicle is moving. Whether the vehicle is moving fast or slow, there are dangers and risks of personal injuries when a child rides on the trunk of the vehicle, on the hood of the vehicle, or back of a pick up truck. It is the responsibility of the vehicle owner and driver to drive in a safe manner and to make sure that passengers are properly seated and belted. If there is a refusal on the part of a passenger to sit in the vehicle, the driver should refuse to drive the vehicle.

The book titled – The ABCs of Child Injury – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – What Every Parent Should Know – has chapters on Automobile Accidents, School Injuries, Day Care Center Injuries, Medical Care and Medical Bills, and other topics. You can get this book for free at The ABCs of Child Injury.

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By Will Brown, Attorney and David Alan Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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Driveways in residential neighborhoods are the unfortunate and tragic spots or location for back over accidents involving infants and toddlers. Because of the height of a toddler, a driver does not always see the child behind the vehicle. While back over accidents can be prevented in most instances, they still continue to take place in any given community. It is important to exercise the utmost of caution and care when backing out of a driveway because the child could be presence or walk into the driveway at any given moment. If there is a back over accident involving a child, the driver should stop at the scene of the accident or incident and call for medical and police assistance immediately.

When a child is injured as a result of the negligence of another person, a parent will often times have many questions and issues to dealt with including medical care, medical bills, child care, and other matters. In addition, there are legal issues that arise in both the criminal and civil setting depending the facts and circumstances of the case. A Child Injury Lawyer can assist a parent and provide advice and legal representation as to the respective rights of the injured child.

It was recently reported that a Lorain, Ohio man is facing criminal charges for an incident that involving the running over of an 18 month old child and then fleeing the scene. See Child Suffers Pesonal Injuries in Back Over Accident in Lorain, Ohio. The incident took place in the afternoon while the child was under the supervision of a babysitter.

The book – The ABCs of Child Injury – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – What Every Parent Should Know – has chapters on Automobile Accidents, Day Care Cener Injuries, Damages / Compensation, and other topics. Get this book for free at The ABCs of Child Injury.

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By Will Brown, Attorney & David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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An Ohio boy tragically died at Circleville Raceway Park. The six year old was diving his go-cart in a private session at the race track when he was hit by a motorcycle. Officials report that the go-cart spun out and was hidden behind a small hill when it was struck by the motorcycle. The child received treatment at the scene of the accident and was transported by air ambulance to Nationwide Children’s Hospital. He later died from his injuries.

The motorcyclist sustained only minor injuries. The Pickaway Sheriffs department is investigating this incident.

It is important to follow the rules of the race track. Race track etiquette stresses safety first. It is the drivers responsibility preserve the well being and safety of the drivers around the track. It is very important to wear a helmet and other safety gear when driving a go kart. You can read more about this story at Race Track Tragic Death of 6 Year Old Boy Reported in Circleville Ohio

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By Will Brown, Attorney & David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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Alisha Schlagenhauser, a 27-year-old woman, was charged with assaulting an autistic child in Wildwater Kingdom in Aurora, Ohio. Witnesses said Schlagenhauser was drunk when she was seen yelling and hitting the child. She was also seen dragging him by his harness through the park so forcefully that she caused him injury.

Schlagenhauser was also caring for the child’s 7-year-old brother along with two other children when the alleged abuse occurred. Law enforcement officers interviewed Schlagenhauser who purportedly admitted to drinking tequila and beer at the water park. Cops also found marijuana and a pipe on Schlagenhauser. She is being charged with child endangering, drug possession, and assault.

It is important for parents to ensure their children are being cared for by responsible and trustworthy people. Parents must closely observe the behaviors and actions of the people they entrust to care for their children. If there is ever any sign of abuse or alcohol or drug related activities, parents should terminate the employment of these caretakers and find a more responsible person to care for and supervise their children.

For more information, see Drunk babysitter charged after assaulting four-year-old autistic boy at water park.

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By Will Brown, Attorney & David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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An unfortunate incident recently took place at the University of Cincinnati (Ohio). It was reported that Everette Howard, an 18 year old student, died as a result of injuries sustained by a Taser gun used by campus police. It was reported that Everette was attempting to break up a fight at the time. It is expected that a full investigation will be completed and then be summarized in a written report since a death resulted from this incident. There appeared to be several witnesses to the incident. The use of force by a police officer is permitted under certain circumstances. In particular, if the health safety and welfare of the police office and / or others are put at risks – force is often times utilized. There are particular policies and procedures in place for each police department as to the use of force including the use of Taser guns. The incident will be reviewed to determine if protocols and criteria were met with respect to the facts and circumstances of this incident.

While Taser guns are typically a less dangerous alternative to the use of a gun, there are still serious personal injuries and even deaths that result from the use of a Taser gun. Law enforcement officials should be respected and orders by the same should be followed. When force is used, it should be reasonable and necessary. Whether the force used is considered excessive will depend on the facts and circumstances of each incident.

For more information, see “Everette Howard Died Saturday At UC Campus.”

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By Will Brown Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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Athens County Sheriff’s Office has been investigating allegations that a 72-year-old man inappropriately touched six children at day care centers in Athens County. The police and Children Services were first notified when a mother of two teenage girls said that the man groped her daughters at a store connected to a home day care center.

Sheriff Patrick Kelly said that they identified a person of interest and an investigation has been launched. The police have been questioning parents and owners of two day care centers. More families have come forward alleging that the same man had inappropriate contact with their children; the children are all under the age of five. Sheriff Kelly said that all of the children attended one of two home day care centers located on state Route 13 in Dover Township, Ohio. The families came forward and asked the police to investigate the situation. Two of the alleged victims are two-years old and two are four-years-old, said Kelly.

According to the police, the person of interest is not allowed to have contact with the day care centers during the investigation. Both of the day care centers are with 100 yards of each other, and the person of interest has contact with both, said Kelly. Parents with children who were or are enrolled in the day care center have been notified about the ongoing investigation and have been assured that safeguards are in place to keep the man away from the facilities. For more information on this topic, see Man Alleged To Have Molested 6 Kids At Daycare Centers.