By Roy S. Dickinson, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network
A Tulsa, Oklahoma woman and teacher’s aide was recently charged with child abuse of a 19 month old little girl.
The police affidavit states that the woman was alone with the little girl at a daycare center and changing her diaper when the woman allegedly injured the baby.The baby was taken to the physician’s office and the mother was called. The baby was then sent to the emergency room at the physician’s recommendation and emergency room doctors had to perform surgery on the toddler. The same offender was investigated back in 2008 for child abuse allegations. No criminal charges were ever filed, but doctors who treated the infant victims, say these incidents were no accident.
The burden of proof required is different in civil cases as opposed to criminal actions. In civil actions, the burden of proof is usually referred to as the preponderance of the evidence standard. In simple terms, the Plaintiff (parent on behalf of a child) must prove that the Defendant was negligent or failed to provide proper care. The Plaintiff must prove the elements of the case by a preponderance of the evidence. In other word, the Plaintiff must proof the elements of the case by the more likely than not standard to the trier of fact which is typically the jury.
In criminal actions, each element of the crime must be proved “beyond a reasonable doubt” by the prosecutor in order to convict the defendant. This explains why in many situations civil actions are brought but criminal actions are not. If criminal charges are not brought, the prosecutor must not have felt he or she could prove each element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt.
The day care center in charge of hiring the offender may be subject to tort liability on multiple grounds including negligent hiring, negligent supervision, and vicarious liability of its employee.
To learn more about this story, visit Affidavit: Accused Child Care Worker Calls Alleged Abuse ‘Accidental’.