Articles Posted in State Specific Articles

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Bounce houses are commonly seen in neighborhoods, amusement parks, fairs, parties, and other events. On most occasions, a bounce house is a great way for a child to play, get some exercise, and interact with friends. Unfortunately, bounce houses and similar recreational structures can be the site of a very serious injury and even the death of a child if safety precautions are not followed, including but not limited to, the anchoring of the bounce house. Furthermore, adult supervision is always key to protecting children from injuries. Kids will be kids. They lack good safety judgment and when there is no adult around – accidents and injuries can and do happen.

A recent accident in Nebraska exemplifies the instantaneous moment where fun on a bounce pad can turn injurious and deadly. A two-year-old boy died and his five-year old sister sustained a broken arm when a strong breeze uprooted the anchoring stakes of the moon bounce they were playing in at a Halloween pumpkin patch. The little girl was thrown from the bounce pad as it blew over, which saved her from serious injury. Unfortunately, the little boy tumbled with the bounce house as it blew over, which caused fatal head injuries. This tragedy in Nebraska demonstrates only one of the multitudes of ways in which a bounce house can cause injuries.

According to the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, other common injuries from trampolines and moon bounces are head trauma, neck injuries, and broken legs. Suffocation by the plastic of a bounce house poses additional risks, such as lung or brain damage from a lack of oxygen. Furthermore, the children’s hospital also indicates that over 10,000 children a year sustain injuries in moon bounces and that over a third of those injuries occur in children younger than five years old. See Bounce House Related Personal Injuries to Children.

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ABC-Blocks-300x290In Arkansas and other states, parents rely upon day care centers to provide a safe and nurturing learning environment during the workday. For those who choose to own a day care center or work in one, it is important that safety needs of all the children, especially infants and toddlers, are met. Unfortunately for far too many children, injuries and incidents take place that are otherwise avoidable and preventable. In particular, injuries and incidents tend to take place when older children are permitted to play in an area occupied by much younger children. For instance, a 10 year old who has issues with hyperactivity and space issues should not be placed in the same room with an infant or toddler. Most states have rules and regulations in place regarding staff-to-child ratios and the proper supervision and separation of children by age in the day care setting.

Despite these requirements, injuries to children in day care centers still occur. As recently reported in the news of Arkansas, bite injuries are an example of potential harm that can come to children in day care. According to Mayo Clinic, human bite injuries can be even more dangerous than animal bites because of the differing strains of bacteria and viruses contained in human mouths. Correspondingly, children who sustain these types of injuries should seek medical attention because a tetanus shot may be necessary or an infection may arise. See Mayo Clinic – Risks of Infection – Human Bites. Therefore, biting is a potentially serious problem and should be avoided through consistent supervision and the following of the applicable rules and standards for day care centers.

With this in mind, a day care may be liable for a bite injury sustained by a child in its care. Though a day care center is not the absolute insurer of a child’s safety, day cares do owe their charges a duty of reasonable care. This means that day care centers should take reasonable precautions to safeguard the children in their care. Because biting is a common behavior in children, day care centers should take reasonable precautions to prevent it. For example, in the situation out of Arkansas, it was reported that caregivers laid down a 10-month-old baby for tummy time when an older child bit him. Reports also indicate that the older child was not supposed to be in that area and was known to bite. While it would probably be unreasonable to expect that the day care provide one to one supervision for every child, it would likely be reasonable to expect that the day care follow procedures about separating age groups, especially with a child with a known history of biting.

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Summer is filled with outdoor activities and fun.  Many such activities take place on or around lakes, rivers, waterways, oceans, beaches, and water parks.  With any aquatic related activities, it is important that due care is taken and that all available safety precautions are in place to avoid accidents, incidents, and injuries from taking place.  While not all injuries can be avoided, many accidents and / or the severity of the accidents that take place during aquatic related activities including boating, swimming, jet skiing, tubing, and other pursuits can be avoided or lessened with due care, caution, and safety precautions. When an incident takes place on or in a waterway, certain laws, regulations, and procedures are analyzed to determine the civil, criminal, and / or administrative legal proceedings / actions that may be pursued in the aftermath of the boating / swimming / aquatic related activity.

A tragic accident was reported in Velva, North Dakota on Strawberry Lake. The Minot Daily News reported that four children were being pulled on two inner-tubes which were carrying the riders.  The rider of the jet ski was ejected from the 2003 Kawasaki brand jet ski but the jet ski continued to be in motion.  The jet ski ultimately struck two of the children who were on the inner-tube.  Both girls suffered significant head injuries and related personal injuries.  Due to the severity of the injuries and the circumstances of the boating / jet ski related accident, local and state official swill conduct an investigation as to the details of the crash, the safety measures put in place, and the preventability of the incident.  Certainly, it is quite troubling that the jet ski continued in motion even after the rider was ejected from the jet ski. You can read more about this story at Girl Killed as a Result of Jet Ski – Inner Tube Accident on Strawberry Lake. 
When a person suffers injuries as a result of a boating / jet ski accident, there may be a case or claim to pursue for the personal injuries.  Generally, there are four elements of a personal injury case as follows:
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Building-Blocks-300x271Working parents rely upon day care center centers to provide care, supervision, and education of their children.  For most children on most days, the time spent at a day care center is uneventful.  Unfortunately and tragically for some children, the neglect, oversight, abuse, or neglect of a child while under the care of a day care center.

It was reported that a 3 year old boy – Elijah Silvera – had food allergies in the form of daily food allergies.  It was reported that a day care center – Seventh Avenue Center for Family Services located in Harlem (New York) was fed a grilled cheese sandwich.  Thereafter, he had a severe allergic reaction.

There is an investigation as to the care and supervision at the day care center and how day care center and medical professional responded to the incident.   The family reported on a Go Fund Me page that it was well known by the day care center staff that the child had food allergies.  It appears that this child died as a result of his dairy allergy.   The simple but dangerous serving of a grilled cheese sandwich to this child resulted in a tragic consequences.  See Grilled Cheese Sandwich Suspected in Death of 3 Year Old. 

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Day-Care-Centr-Blocks-300x194In Texas and other States, children are the unfortunate and tragic victims of day care center abuse, neglect, and carelessness.  When a child is harmed in the form of personal injuries, there may be a case or claim pursued on behalf of the injured child for compensation or damages.  This is commonly referred to as a personal injury insurance claim or civil case. It should be noted that a civil case is different than a criminal case.  

A criminal case is pursued by local law enforcement and the prosecutor or district attorney.  When there is a crime committed whether it is intentional conduct or grossly reckless conduct, the criminal case focuses on the crime committed rather than the ability to collect compensation or monetary damages from the criminal defendant or day care center operator.  The successful pursuit of the criminal case also does not depend on the existence or amount of liability insurance coverage. 

A civil case is pursued by the family of the injured child through the services of a Child Injury Lawyer.  From a legal standpoint, there are four elements to establish in a civil case:

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Day-Care-Center-School-Transporation-300x207A child may be injured while being transported by a day care center, school, summer camp, after school program, or some other activity.  When a child is injured, there may be a right to compensation to the child for medical bills, pain, suffering, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life.  The legal rights of the child will depend on the particular facts and circumstances of the crash, the extent and severity of the personal injuries, and type and amount of liability or automobile insurance coverage.  Whether the accident or crash is the fault of the day care center driver, another driver, or both on a comparative fault basis, there may be a right to seek damages on behalf of the injured child.

There was an accident reported in Charlotte, North Carolina involving a day care center van owned and operated by The Neighborhood Learning Center.  It was reported that the van was transporting children from a school to the day care center.  It was reported that several people including children under the age of 6 years old were transported to the hospital for evaluation and treatment.  You can read more about this accident at Children Injured in North Carolina Day Care Center Motor Vehicle Accident. 

When a child is injured in an automobile accident or day care center van accident, it is important for the child to get appropriate medical care from one or more of the following medical providers:  emergency room, pediatrician, neurologist, orthopedist, physical therapist, and /or other medical providers.  The costs of the medical care may be covered by the automobile insurance of the day care center, the parents, the other driver, and / or health insurance.  It depends on who was at fault for the crash and what insurance coverage was in place for the vehicles / drivers involved in the accident.

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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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Boating-Accident-and-Personal-Injuries-300x121Children are at risk for injury on land, air, and sea.  It is important for all adults in charge of supervising children to act in the best interest of children.  When an adult supervisor of a child is negligent, serious personal injuries can result.  For just about every situation there is a duty to act reasonably.  When this duty is breached, there can be lifelong injuries that result and even the untimely and tragic death of a a child.  There is a duty to act reasonably on the part of professionals / businesses including those connected to a day care center, school, summer camp, after school program, athletic program, and other locations / activities. There is also a duty to act reasonably for individuals who are not connected with a business or facility including parents, relatives, neighbors, family friends, and those who agree to by explicit or implicit terms to supervise children during a particular activity, event, or time period.
In Louisiana, a horrific incident was reported to take place on the Old Sabine River in the vicinity of Niblett’s Bluff Park.  Three boys were riding a tube being pulled by a bass boat.  The operator of the boat took a turn that resulted in the tube swinging out and hitting the side of the river bank.  All three boys were ejected from the tube.  One of the boys – 8 year old Damian Haines – was airlifted to West Calcasieu Hospital where he was later reported to be dead from what appears to be trauma related injuries.  The other two boys suffered injuries but not as serious as Damian Haines.  The operator of the boat was arrested as a result of this incident and charged with a number of serious crimes including intoxication, vehicular homicide, and reckless operation of a watercraft.  You can read more about this incident at Boating – Tubing Accident Leads to Death of 8 Year Old Boy in Louisiana.
It should be noted that the pursuit of a personal injury case can be based on simple negligence.  The acts do not need to be reckless in nature per se.  It should also be noted that the pursuit of a personal injury case will depend in part on the available liability insurance in place.  Many personal injury attorneys limit their respective caseloads to cases with liability insurance in place or a Defendant with the financial means to pay out a settlement or judgment.  Many large businesses are self insured which means that the business chooses to be responsible for the injuries or deaths that take place during business operation that are the result of the negligence of the business and / or its employees.  For instance, Wal-Mart Stores are mostly self insured which means that Wal-Mart does not carry liability insurance.
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Toy-Blocks-E-A-300x226In Nevada and other states, a child enrolled in a day care center should be provided with a supportive educational environment free from abuse, neglect, and corporal punishment. Unfortunately, far too many children are harmed by the very caregivers supposed trained and skilled to provide proper supervision for children at the day care center.  It should also be noted that many such instances go unreported, unnoticed, and essentially ignored unless somebody speaks out on behalf of the child.  Often, it is the parent that steps up to advocate for his or her child.
It was recently reported in Nevada that a day care center worker threw a child to the floor.   The child reported the incident to her mother who then demanded to see the video surveillance for the facility.  The video surveillance from the K.I.D.S. Academy located in Henderson, Nevada shows the child care provider first picking up the child by the arms.  The day care center worker then returns just seconds later and throws the girl more forcefully and the child’s face hits the floor.  Incidents like these can and often do lead to serious head injuries.   Without the push from the parent and the availability of the video surveillance, these incidents tragically get “swept under the rug” without any civil, administrative, or criminal action.   Once the video surveillance was viewed by the facility and the parent, the matter was reported to the Henderson Police Department which, in turn, arrested the day care worker for criminal charges of child abuse. You can read more about this story at Video Surveillance Leads to Arrest of Day Care Center Worker in Henderson Nevada. 
Similar to the majority of other states, corporal punishment and physical abuse are prohibited in licensed Nevada day care centers. Pursuant to Nevada Administrative Code – NAC 432A.400 Discipline – a licensed day care center has a duty to enhance a child’s behavior through positive guidance and redirection.  A day care center worker shall not under any circumstances inflict physical punishment in any manner on the child or verbal abuse or threaten the child.
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By David Wolf, Child Injury Lawyer
Crib-and-Nap-Time-Day-Care-Center-276x300Parents rely on day care centers to provide a safe educational environment for their children. Tragically, children suffer serious personal injuries and even fatal injuries at the very place where the children are supposed to be protected – the day care center.  At times, other children in the day care center are violent and unstable.  It is important that day care centers closely monitor all children in the day care center. If a child is exhibiting strange, dangerous, or disturbing behavior, it should be addressed right away.  For the protection and safety of the children enrolled in the day care center, a child, with dangerous tendencies or propensities, can and should be removed from the day care center.  The local licensing agency can also step in if there is a problem with the parents of the “problem child”.  It is vital that the day care center act in a timely manner to prevent injuries at all times possible.  Unfortunately, many day care centers ignore the problem or gloss over the problem rather than take action to protect the children in the day care center.
In Michigan, it was reported that a 14 month old toddler died a day care center by an 8 year old girl with a history of odd behavior.  The toddler (Korey Brown) was crying in his crib.  Then, the 8 year old took him out of the crib, bit him in the face, and kicked the toddler.  The 8 year old girl had a number of issues.  It is suspected by the family of Korey Brown that the day care center knew or should have known about the odd behavior and should have taken action to protect Korey Brown.   At the time of the attack, there were no adults present in the room.  As such, it appears that the 8 year old was left unsupervised in a room with younger children in the room including Korey Brown. You can read more about this story at Girl Kills Toddler at Michigan Day Care Center