January 23, 2011

Child Dies in Automobile Accident in Marshalltown, Iowa

By Thomas J. Duff, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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A 10-year-boy died as a result of a fatal head-on collision in Marshalltown, Iowa. The young boy was identified as Hunter Snider. Hunter's residence was not publicly released but it was confirmed that he died at Marshalltown Medical & Surgical Center after being transported there after the collision.

According to the Iowa State Patrol, the accident occurred on a 180th Street, a gravel road. One vehicle, whose driver was identified as 34-year-old Mitchell James Storjohann of Marshalltown, was traveling Westbound on the gravel road. The other vehicle involved was driven by 33-year-old Shane Eric Ersland of Iowa City; Ersland was traveling Eastbound on the same gravel road. According to troopers, both cars were riding in the middle of the gravel road and when each automobile topped a hill, they collided. The report did not state what car Hunter was riding in. Other victims of the crash who sustained personal injuries were identified as Ann Marie Ersland, 57, of Marshalltown and Shane Ersland; both were treated at Marshalltown Medical & Surgical Center. If you would like to read more on this story please see Fatal head-on collision occurs on Iowa gravel road, 10-year-boy (Hunter Snider) killed.

The death of this young boy is a tragedy for his family and community. Drivers who are traveling on dirt, gravel, clay, or otherwise unpaved roads need to use extra caution. These environments can make regular driving activities more challenging due to their narrower space and lack of durability.

November 8, 2010

Iowa Supreme Court Rules That Child Injury Waiver Forms Are Not Enforceable - Good Ruling for Parents and Injured Children

By Thomas J. Duff, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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The Iowa Supreme Court recently handed down a decision that ruled that child injury waiver forms are not enforceable. The case involved a release form used for field trips in the Mid Prairie and Keota School Districts. The ruling makes sense as the use of these documents is really against the public policy. While a school is not liable for every single injury or unforeseeable event that takes place, a school or teacher should not be able to hide behind a blanket waiver form when there is an injury that was caused by negligence or inappropriate supervision. No form or document should give a school district or any other institution that cares for or educates children a free reign to cause injury without any consequences. You can read more about this story at Iowa Supreme Court Rules that Liability Waivers Are Unenforceable.

One thing is perfectly clear about liability waiver forms whether deemed invalid or valid in a particular state. Liability waiver forms do absolutely nothing to provide for the safety of children. Instead of spending time and effort to figure out a way to avoid liability, schools, day care center, and child care providers should spend the time and effort providing for the proper care, education, and supervision of children. This, in turn, will help avoid many child injuries and lessen supposed need of a liability waiver by the school or child care provider.

May 3, 2010

Hit a Child and Go to Jail - Sioux City Iowa Man Sentenced to Prison for Child Endangerment Charges

By Thomas J. Duff, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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In Iowa and Other States, parents, step parents, and boyfriend / girlfriends of parents often show poor judgment and violent tendencies when disciplining children. Beatings and whippings may be the way things were done years ago; however, these forms of punishment are often times cruel and unusual and in some cases criminal. In Sioux City, Iowa, Tyrone James (age 32) was sentenced to a 2 year prison term after entering a guilty plea of charges of child endangerment. Allegations in this case involved two children who were hit by belts, tree branches and extension cords. The mother of children also pled guilty to criminal charges. See Sioux City Iowa Man Sentenced to Prison Term for Child Endangerment Criminal Charges.

Children should be raised in a loving and caring environment. Children should not be subjected to the personal injuries or the psychological injuries of being hit by a parent or other adult.

November 29, 2009

Iowa Toddler (Chase Kloppenborg) Dies After Alleged Assault by Mother's Boyfriend

By Thomas J. Duff, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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In Davenport, Iowa, two month old (Chase Kloppenberg) was taken off of life support at Iowa City Hospital according to Sergeant Frankie Wilson with the Davenport Police Department. Brian M. Fix, the mother's boyfriend, has been charged with the crime of child endangerment causing serious injury. In criminal of this nature, the extent of the criminal charges could be amended in light of the fact that the child died.

Mr. Fix will be entitled to defend himself with the assistance of a public defender or a private criminal defense attorney. Medical evidence will be gathered and presented on a case of this nature as to the severity of the injuries and the probably cause of the injuries. Witness testimony will also be important in a case of this nature. Statements may include those from the mother, other relatives, and the Defendant.

The death of Chase Kloppenberg is certainly tragic for the family, friends, and the community. You can read more about this story at Iowa Toddler Dies After Alleged Assault.

October 8, 2009

Baby Sitter Criminally Charged in Infant's Death - Shaken Baby Syndrome in Des Moines, Iowa

By Thomas J. Duff, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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Unlicensed day care providers and unlicensed in home day care centers can prove to be places of danger, injury, and even death for children. In Des Moines, Iowa, a 4 month old child was seriously injured when a grandmother went to the in home day care center to pick up her grandson (Emiliano Ramirez of Urbandale, Iowa).

Medical providers at Blank Children's Hospital later diagnosed the child with retinal hemorrhages and bleeding of the brain. Typically, these condition results from Shaken Baby Syndrome.

Due to the medical condition of the child which appeared to result during a time that he was under the care of a day care provider, criminal charges (felony child endangerment) were filed against the day care provider.

The detective said Emiliano's grandmother picked him up at Watts' residence on Sept. 15, and because he looked pale, was taken to Blank Children's Hospital. Tests determined there were retinal hemorrhages and bleeding of the brain. You can read more about this story at Babysitter Charged with Child's Serious Brain Injury.

August 31, 2009

North Liberty, Iowa Day Care Center (Lit'l Russeller Day Care) Shuts Down -

By Thomas J. Duff, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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In North Liberty, Iowa, a day care center recently closed its doors. KCRG TV 9 ABC News reported the story. The center had 95 children enrolled in the day care program. Now the families of these children will need to find another Iowa day care center for child care. The State of Iowa - Department of Human Services did not force the closing of the center; however, a recent inspection of the facility did reveal a number of violations of day care / child care regulations including vans in disrepair repair, safety issues in the playground, and dirty carpet. Parents were reportedly happy with the staff and kept the children in this facility despite these and potentially other problems.

Day care centers in Iowa should employ caring staff members and also maintain the facility in a safe and clean manner. Parental loyalty to a facility and the willingness to overlook violations of day care regulations does not mean that a child is enrolled in a safe facility. You can read more about this story at North Liberty Iowa Abruptly Closes Its Doors.

Day care facilities that are in disrepair often times are the sites of serious personal injuries to children enrolled in the facility. Safety should be a primary concern for a day care center rather than an after thought.

July 18, 2009

Des Moines, Iowa Infant Critical - Parents Arrested for Child Endangerment

By Thomas J. Duff, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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In Des Moines, Iowa, an infant is in the hospital in critical condition. The parents were arrested by law enforcement authorities for child endangerment charges. The parents, who are both 20 years old, turned themselves into authorities at the Des Moines police station. Ethan Neiderbach, who is only 7 weeks old, suffered severe head injuries and fractured ribs. Ethan was reported as being treated at Blank Children's Hospital. The parents claim that they did not know how the child suffered such injuries. Police report that doctors have indicated that the injuries were intentionally inflicted. In a case of this nature, the reports, opinions, and examinations of the medical experts will be an important piece of the puzzle to determine the events and causes of this child's injuries. You can read more about this story at Parents Arrested for Child Endangerment in Des Moines, Iowa for Child Endangerment Charges.

July 9, 2009

Coon Rapids, Iowa Teen (Casey Daniel Stork) Killed in a Roll Over Accident

By Thomas J. Duff, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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In Coon Rapid, Iowa, a 16 year of boy (Casey Daniel Stork) died in an accident. Casey was the passenger in a Ford Escape SUV driven by another 16 year old - Daniel Kult. News report indicate that Daniel Kult was trying to pass another vehicle when he lost control of the vehicle, entered a ditch, and then rolled over several times before coming to a stop in the yard of a residence.

Details in the news report did not state the speed of the vehicle, the number of lanes, road or weather conditions, or the driving record or status of the driving license of the driver. It is a tragic loss for the family of Casey Daniel Stork to deal with such a death. You can read more about this story at Coon Rapids, Iowa Teen Dies in Rollover Automobile Accident.

May 18, 2009

Iowa Sex Offender Website - Tracking Sex Offenders and Mapping Sex Offender in or near Your Neighborhood

By Thomas J. Duff, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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In Iowa and other states, a sex offender database has been established to keep track of sex offenders, child predators, and others who have been convicted of crimes that pose a risk too others and especially children. Iowa requires registration for all individuals who have been convicted or adjudicated of a criminal offense against a minor, a crime of sexual exploitation, or a sexually violent crime on or after July 1, 1995. The registry allows citizens and residents in Iowa to access this important information and take necessary precautions that parents and others deem fit to protect themselves and their children.

You can look up particular sex offenders, search for registered sex offenders near an address, and access other important information at the Official Website for the Iowa Sex Offender Registry.

May 17, 2009

Iowa Law - What Is Considered Child Abuse?

By Thomas J. Duff, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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Tragically, children are abused in Iowa every. Some incidents of child abuse are reported and investigated by the Iowan Department of Human Services. Many, however, go unnoticed and unreported as the abused child injuries and needs remain hidden from authorities, law enforcement, teachers, family members and others. Every person who knows of or who suspects child abuse has a duty to report the suspected abuse / neglect. The Department of Human Services has the authority to conduct an assessment of a child who is allegedly the subject of child abuse. There are eight categories of child abuse as set forth in Section 232.68 of the Iowa Code. The categories are the following: physical abuse, mental injury, sexual abuse, child prostitution, exposure of children to drugs or presence of illegal drugs, denial of critical medical care, manufacturing or possession of drugs, and bestiality in front of a child.

If a child is abused or neglected in a school, day care center, summer camp, or other institution, a parent or caregiver may be able to pursue a civil case against the abuser through the services of an Iowa child injury attorney. A child should be given a voice and legal representation to seek compensation for the physical and psychological injuries resulting from the abuse and neglect.

You can read more about definitions of child abuse and how to report allegations of child abuse to the Department of Human Services - Abuse Under Iow Law and Reporting Requirements

May 16, 2009

Iowa Day Care Centers / Child Care Centers - What Rules and Regulations Apply to the Operation of the Facility and Supervision of Children?

By Thomas J. Duff, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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In Iowa, child care centers / day care centers are regulated by the Iowa Administrative Code - Chapter 109 - Child Care Centers. The purpose of the rules and regulations is to establish minimum requirements for licensed child care centers and pre-schools. These standards cover areas from licensing to supervision to nutrition. It is important for Iowa child care centers that are licensed and subject to these rules and regulations to comply with Iowa law. Working parents in Iowa depend on child care centers to provide for the physical, emotional and educational welfare of children including infants, toddlers, pre-school, and school aged children.

May 15, 2009

Iowa - Researching and Finding a Child Care Center / Day Care Center

By Thomas J. Duff, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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Parents in Iowa and other states have many resources to find out information about child care centers / day care centers. Before enrolling a child in a day care center, we recommend that parents research the facility to make sure the child is placed in a safe, clean, and well supervised educational environment. The Iowa Department of Human Services has an interactive map where a parent, caregiver, or guardian can search out day care centers in Iowa at Child Care Providers. The State of Iowa is divided into 5 area to locate licensed child care providers by region. The list contains the name of the licensee, address, telephone number, license number, and expiration date for the license. You can also find contact information for regional Child Care Resource and Referral services. Each has a website and a contact telephone number for so that additional information can be obtained for child care providers.

May 14, 2009

Liability in Iowa - Getting Hit by a Baseball Bat - Effect of Permission Slips, Releases, and Waivers

By Thomas J. Duff, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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As summer approaches, more and more children will be attending outdoor activities under the supervision of schools and child care providers. Parents and guardians are routinely required to sign permission slips before a child is allowed to go on a field trip to an amusement park or the local swimming pool. Does a permission slip signed by a parent make the school or child care provider not responsible for accidents and injuries?

The Iowa Supreme Court recently addressed this question in a case involving an 8 year old girl who was hit in the head by a flying baseball bat at a minor league baseball game. The girl’s parents signed a permission slip which said that the sponsor of the trip was not responsible for any injuries or accidents. The Iowa court found that the permission slip did not release the sponsor of the trip from liability. The Iowa Supreme Court issued this opinion gives parents and caregivers the ability to bring forth insurance claims and lawsuits even when permission slips or releases are signed. It is really against public policy and against the best safety interests of the child to allow negligent sponsors, businesses, and persons to act in a negligent manner, cause injuries, and then run away from liability for injuries caused to a child.

May 14, 2009

Study Shows that Injuries Are a Leading Cause of Death in Iowa

By Thomas J. Duff, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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Deaths and injuries over a four year time period (2002 - 2006) across Iowa were studied by the Iowa Department of Public Health and the University of Iowa. This study revealed that over 1500 deaths in Iowa are caused by injuries. The Burden of Injury in Iowa report gathered information regarding deaths and hospitalizations. Motor vehicle accidents / automobile accidents were the leading cause of unintentional deaths for all injury related mortalities. Teens and young adults ranging from the age of 15 to 24 represented the groups with the highest rates of hospitalizations / emergency room visits among all age groups. Unintentional or accidental injuries represent the leading cause of death for Iowans in the age range from 1 to 34 years old. You can read more about these statistics and others at Injuries a Leading Cause of Death in Iowa According to Study.

May 11, 2009

United States Department of Health and Human Resources - Resource for Day Care / Child Care Regulations for All 50 States

By David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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The United States Department of Health and Human Resources has a website that has a great reference tool for parents and caregivers with children in day care centers and child care centers. Each state regulates day care centers / child care centers through a state specific administrative code and / or policy manual. Go to State Administrative Rules and Policy Manuals for Child Care. Another good resource is located at the website for the National Resource Center for
Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education
. Parents should use these and other resources to educate themselves on the various state specific rules and regulations for day care centers and child care centers. Each state regulates day care centers slightly differently. As such, parents should be informed on the regulations that apply to their children's day care center. Is the facility following the law? Are the state specific requirements for staffing being met? Are records being kept according to the state law? What information as a parent and caregiver am I entitled to regarding incidents and accidents? What disciplinary measures are allowed? What disciplinary actions are prohibited? These and many other issues are addressed in these day care rules and regulations. In addition, parents concerned about the care being received in a day care center / child care center can also consult with a child injury attorney / lawyer to find out if there is a viable case or claim to be pursued on behalf of a child who has been injured in a day care center as a result of day care negligence, abuse, or neglect.

May 5, 2009

Child Killed While Crossing Road in Mason City, Iowa

By Thomas J. Duff, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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In Iowa and Other States, pedestrian injuries and deaths are unfortunate statistics and incidents. Some incidents result from driver inattention or distraction. Other incidents result from pedestrian inattention, negligence or distraction. In many accidents, fault can be attributed to both the driver and pedestrian.

In Mason City, Iowa, a child was struck and killed when he was hit by a vehicle driven by a teenage driver. Iowa State Patrol reported that a group of "kids" were crossing Iowa Highway 122 near South Georgia Avenue and South Jersey Avenue at the time of the incident. The driver was identified as Kyle Leedon, age 18, of Sheffield, Iowa. The victim was taken to Mercy Hospital located in Mason City, Iowan where the victim was pronounced dead. News reports did not release the name of the vicim or the family of the victim.

Iowa State Patrol will conduct a full investigation into the traffic death of the child to determine if charges will be filed or not against the teen driver. No matter the result of the investigation - it is certainly a tragedy when a young life abruptly ends from a traffic related incident.

You can read more about this story at Child Killed While Crossing Road in Mason City, Iowa.

February 18, 2009

Iowa Father Arrested for Giving Teenage Son Steroids

By Thomas J. Duff, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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In Iowa and Other States, teenagers are taking steroids to try to get one step up on the competition in sports, body building and other pursuits. Medical studies have shown that steroids can have serious long term medical effects on teenagers and adults as well. In Gilbertville / Mason City, Todd Gerleman was arrested for giving his teenage son steroids. According to news reports, it was the father's idea and plan to provide his son with steroids to get his son more interested in sports.

The 14 year old son assaulted his mother in Gilbertville, Iowa. Police responded to the scene and found a syringe and 105 steroid pills in the teenager's bedroom.

You can read more about this story at Father Provided Son with Steroids in Iowa - Father Arrested.

January 28, 2009

Town of Greeley, Iowa Mourns Deaths of Four Children Who Died in a House Fire

By Thomas J. Duff, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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Parents, Allen and Nichole Hansen, are mourning the deaths of four of their children who recently died in a house fire. Abigal Ziel (age 14), Megan Hansen (age 7), Tyler Hansen (age 8), and Haylee Hansen (age 3) all died in the fire in the Town of Greeley, Iowa. Their older teenage brother and another family escaped the fire.

Fire investigators are working to determine the cause of the fire that has left an emotional cloud over this community. It has been a tragic chapter in the history of this Iowa town. It also has been a time of bonding and good will for the Town of Greeley.

Even though we live in quite modern times with the advent of the Internet, Mobile Phone, and many great advances, towns like Greeley and big cities still must deal with serious injuries and death caused by fire and smoke inhalation. You can read more about this story at Iowa Mourners Remember Four Children Who Died in a House Fire.

December 20, 2008

1 Year Old Child at Athletic Club Day Care Center Ate Rat Poison in Des Moines, Iowa

By Thomas J. Duff, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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Des Moines, Iowa police reported that a 1 year old child ate mouse / rat poison at a day care / child care center at local athletic gym. When the father of the child went to pick up the child, he noticed some kind of blue substance on her clothing. This turned out to be the mouse / rat poison. The child was later taken to Blank Children's Hospital in Des Moines, Iowa for evaluation and testing. Fortunately, the child is going to be ok according to the news story as reported in the Des Moines Register at 1 Year Old Exposed to Rat / Mouse Poison at Gym Child Care Center.

Iowa Regulations pertaining to Day Care / Child Care center require that the physical environment be safe and hazard free. Day Care / Child Care centers have a duty to keep poison, toxins, and any other harmful products including but not limited to mouse and rat poison away from children. These products should be kept out of reach of children to avoid serious personal injuries from occurring while the children are under the care and supervision of the day care / child care center.

November 20, 2008

KCCI Des Moines Iowa TV Station Reports on Distracted Drivers - Dangers to Iowa Children

By Thomas J. Duff and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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KCCI Des Moines Iowa TV Station did an excellent study and program on distracted drivers. Distracted driving can result from common everyday activities that do not exactly combine well with the physical and mental requirements of operating a motor vehicle. While driving, many people eat, sing, talk, read, check e mail, text, and multi-task. Motor vehicles in many states are referred to as "dangerous instrumentalities" since a minor mistake or a second or two of inattention can lead to serious adult and child injuries and, in some instance, death.

Mobile phones are certainly great and valuable tools. Then again, mobile phones can also distract drivers who are deeply involved in a telephone conversation. Drivers should keep their eyes on the road. If you drop something or feel you need to search for something in your vehicle, wait until the next stop or hat leads the mind to wander away from the primary task at hand - safety operating a motor vehicle, car, truck, and motorcycle. You can see the news report / story by going to the KCCI Web Site at
Distracted Driving in Iowa.

Texting is a real problem these days. Some bus driver, train engineers / operators, and car drivers like their i phones, Black Berry devices, and other mobile devices so much that they text while driving. This act and others can be very dangerous especially for children who passengers or pedestrians who often times become innocent victims from the careless acts of distracted drivers.

The roads will be much safer when people make a conscientious effort to reduce the incidents of distracted driving. Pay attention for the sake of other adults and children on or near the roadways.

 
 
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