Articles Posted in Alabama

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Neighborhood-300x224Every year, there are numerous reports of infants or toddlers mistakenly being left in hot cars resulting in their untimely death. Children have mistakenly been left in hot cars usually from their parents forgetting to drop them off by a day care center on their way to work. The temperature inside a vehicle during hot and warm weather months easily escalates to the point that a child dies from extreme heat. One moment of inattention can lead to lifetimes of loss and hurt for families and communities. There are measures that can be taken to reduce hot car deaths; the National Safety Council reported that 51 children nationwide died in 2019 after being left in hot cars. Heat stroke has been named the leading cause of non-crash, vehicle-related deaths in children under the age of 15. Certainly, the overall goal or mission should be an annual report that cites the number of hot car deaths at zero.

In efforts to reduce the number of deaths, Alabama lawmakers are working to pass a bill named after an 11-month-old boy who died last year after being left in the back seat of a car with his sister. The Cash Edwin Jordan Act would require daycares statewide to call a child’s parent or guardian if the child has not been dropped off by 9:30 each morning. This would apply to all daycares in the state, regardless of if they are public or private, and should not be too difficult to implement. The hope is that parents of children who are out for health reasons would give daycares advance notice, making the calling system an easy and efficient solution.

Parents and caregivers can also work to prevent hot car deaths by leaving essential items like cell phones, wallets, or ID cards in the backseat. Adults can also make a habit from checking the back seat of their cars before walking away and by reminding children that cars should not be used for games like hide-and-seek. Car keys should always be out of a child’s reach and cars should be locked at all times. Phone alarms can also be set for a driver’s time of arrival to remind them to check their back seat before leaving.

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Restaurant-300x282There are common types of personal injury accidents or incidents that take place just about every day in any given geographic region – playground accidents, automobile accidents, bicycle accidents, and day care center incidents.   Then again, there are the not so common incidents that seem to be rare or one of a kind incidents.  Whether an accident or incident is common or rare, the same elements apply to establish a legal case or claim against another person, business, property owner, or government entity.  Here are the elements:

Duty;

Breach of Duty;

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By David Wolf, Attorney

Child Injury Lawyer Blog

Child-Care-SupervisionIn Alabama and a number other States, day care centers can be broadly separated into three groups:  Licensed, Unlicensed by Exemption, and Unlicensed by Violation.  While the licensure of a day care center does not guarantee that a day care center is free from risks, hazards, and negligence, the licensure of a day care center does provide for important oversight by the State.  With oversight, there is usually voluntary compliance with the applicable day care and child care rules, regulations, staffing, training, and safety standards.  Many parents are not qualified to know what the required staff to child ration should be or what training should be completed for child care providers. Furthermore, there is a certain value to having rules and regulations in place to guide a day care center as what needs to be in place to obtain a day care center license and to keep such a license.

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By  Scott Soutullo, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Food Issues - Fork and SpoonIn Alabama and other states, parents rely upon day care centers to provide for the proper supervision and care of the children during the working hours of the parents.  Due to the length of time that a child is at the day care centers, meals and food service are an integral part of many day care centers.  Like restaurants and other food service facilities, it is important for a day care center to proper maintain the food service areas including the kitchen to make sure that all food is properly stored and served during meal times and snack times.
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By David Wolf, Attorney

Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

handcuffs%20on%20white%20background.jpgIn Alabama and other States, most day care centers are required to apply for and maintain a license. For the reputable day care centers, background checks are completed to determine if the day care center employee has a criminal history and if the person presents an apparent risk to children. In addition, employment and backgrounds are completed as to the work history of the employee. While it is impossible to weed out or keep out all bad elements from being employed at a day care center, due diligence should be taken to check on the backgrounds and work histories of the day care center workers. When a parent enrolls a child into a day care center, it is reasonable for a parent to ask about and meet the day care center employees working in the facility. It is also reasonable to ask if any other employees or visitors have access to or will be near the children in the day care center. At some day care centers, the owners and / or relatives of the owners present a risk to children in the day care center facility. Background checks are not always completed on relatives living at the home day care center or who may visit the home or commercial day care center. Tragically, children are, at times, abused and molested by day care center employees, day care center owners, family members of owners / employees, or visitors to the day care center.

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By Scott Soutullo, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney

Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

State%20Map%20Alabama.jpgIn Alabama and other States, children will at times misbehave and disobey instructions by parents or guardians. While it is appropriate to punish punish or discipline a child for bad behavior, it is important for parents and caregivers to recognize and understand that physical forms of punishment can lead to serious personal injuries in some instances the unfortunate and tragic death of a child. It was recently reported that a child died as a result of complications from dehydration relating to punishment that was given to the child for eating a candy bar. The child was forced to run for a three hour time period until the child eventually collapsed from exhaustion and dehydration. Law-enforcement officials have arrested two women who were supervising child at time for crimes related to this incident. See Alabama Girl Dies as a Result of Excessive Discipline. Of course, the women, who were arrested, will be entitled to representation from a criminal defense attorney or the public defender’s office. Cases of this nature will depend on the facts, circumstances, witness statements, and the forensic evidence including the child’s medical records and autopsy and laboratory results.

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By Scott Soutullo, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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Robert Eugene Frost, also known as “Mr. Bob” by the children and parents at a Cahaba Heights, Alabama, day care center, was sentenced to 20 years in prison for molesting a girl at the center. Frost was an employee at Christian’s Day Care and Learning Academy, which closed soon after his 2010 arrest. The 76-year-old man was indicted on charges of sexually molesting 3 girls at the day care center where he worked. A jury convicted him of first-degree sexual abuse committed against one of the children. However, a mistrial was declared concerning the other two girls because the jurors could not reach a verdict. The names of the parents of the victims were not released in order to conceal the identity of the child victims. Under Alabama law, first-degree sexual abuse is a Class B felony, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment. Because the sexual abuse in Frost’s case involved a child, the minimum sentence Frost could have received was 10 years imprisonment. While handing down her judgment, Circuit Judge Virginia Vinson stated she wished she could have sentenced him to a longer term because, she believes, this is one the most heinous offenses a human being can commit against another. For more read 76-year-old day care center worker found guilty of first-degree sexual abuse against a child, sentenced to 20 years in prison.

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By Scott Soutullo, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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In Alabama and other States, trust is a vital component of placing a child in a day care center. If a parent has concerns or lacks the trust of a day care center or child care provider, a parent may consider changing day care centers. Many parents rely on faith based or church day care centers to provide child care during working hours. In Alabama and Other States, the government regulations for a church day care center may differ from a commercial (non faith based) day care center. For instance, background checks may not be required if the day care center is connected to or affiliated with a church. While background checks do not automatically make a day care center safe and free from dangers, background checks do help weed out sexual predators and others with a criminal background who may pose a danger or risk to children. When selecting a day care center, ask if the day care center performs background checks and also ask to see the licensing and survey documentation for the facility. You can read more about this topic at Day Care Dangers – Alabama – Faith Based Day Care Centers and Exemptions from State Regulations.

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By Scott Soutullo, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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In Montgomery, Alabama, there was an attempt to abduct a child who was at an Easter Egg Hunt at the Hunter Missionary Baptist Church. The child was abducted and placed into a vehicle. Fortunately, the child was able to escape from the vehicle to the safety of her family and other church members. It is very disturbing that children are not even safe from the predator’s reach at churches, schools, and day care centers. A child abduction can happen at any time, at any place, and on any occasion. Child predators lack any kind of morals and would go to any lengths to abduct a child. You can read more about this story at Girl Nearly Abducted During Easter Egg Hunt in Montgomery, Alabama.

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By Scott Soutullo, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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In Alabama, Erica DeRamus attended her prom in a dress that her mother approved and liked. School officials did not like the dress and determined that the prom dress violated the student dress code. Erica and other students were given one of two options for punishment: 1. Three day suspension OR 2. Paddling. Erica choose the suspension while others opted for the paddling. Many parents do not realize it but corporal punishment is still on the books for many school districts in Alabama and other States. To get paddled over a prom dress seems extreme and excessive. Yes, the school district did give the students the option of the two forms of punishment; nevertheless, the punishment seems extreme either way for an issue or debate over a prom dress. You can read more about this story and see a video at the Huffington Post Website at Alabama Student Choses Suspension Over Paddling for Punishment Involving Prom Dress.