Articles Posted in Wrongful Death

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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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By David A. Wolf, Attorney

Child Injury Lawyer Blog

Baby-Elements-Blue-Icons-copy-300x282In Virginia and other states, many parents rely upon day care centers to watch over their children during the work day.  Many such day care centers are connected to or affiliated with a church or religious institution. Unfortunately in many states, there are limited to no government oversight of religious or church run day care centers because there are loopholes and exemptions in state law that opt a church run or religious day care center out of the applicable day care center regulations.  As such, many day care centers go unregulated and often engage in negligent or dangerous behavior due to the lack of training and government oversight of the facility.  As such, many church run or religious based day care centers may seem safe and well run on the outside are actually riddled with dangers and risks on the inside.
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By David A. Wolf, Attorney – Child Injury Lawyer Blog

Toy Train.001In Utah and other states, day care centers have a duty to provide a reasonably safe educational environment for the children enrolled in the program.  It is important that the day care center follow all licensing requirements and have trained staff in place to meet the needs of the children. Supervision  and attentiveness are vital to the safety and welfare of the children.  The level of supervision will depend on the type of facility, number of children, age of the children, special needs of the children, time of the day, activity and other factors.  There are dangers lurking at all times that an infant or toddler is being cared for in a day care center. It is vital for staff members to be aware of the dangers and remove or prevent all such dangerous situations to the best of the ability and foresight of the day care center.

A recent tragedy was reported in at a West Jordan, Utah day care center.  It as reported that a toddler – Leonardo “Leo” Sanchez – crawled under a bean bag and ultimately suffocated.  A seemingly simple object – a bean bag chair – turned out to be a very dangerous object in a day care center for a small child like Leo Sanchez.  It is well known that small children are curious and will crawl into or go into areas which can be quite dangerous.  Another dangerous situation or object for a toddler or infant in a day care center is an unanchored dresser or TV stand.  There have been a number of reports of children being injured or even dying as a result of a dresser, TV stand, or TV that has fallen over on top of a child.  Sleeping and napping time can also present dangers as well to infants.  A stuffed animal or blanket can cause a child to suffocate during this otherwise seemingly safe part of a day care center.

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By David A. Wolf, Attorney – Child Injury Lawyer Blog

book-abcOne basic duty of every day care center is the duty of supervision. Many day care centers are located on her near busy roadways, streets, neighborhoods, and commercial developments.  As such, the duty to supervise the children is vital the health, safety, and welfare of the children enrolled in the day care program. In some instances, a child is unharmed when he or she wanders away from a day care center.  An astute bystander or police officer locates the child and returns the child to the day care center.  While the situation could have escalated into something quite horrible, the child did not receive any injuries and soon forgets about the whole incident.  On the other hand, there are incidents involving the wandering of a child away from a day care center that results in serious personal injuries and even the tragic death of the child. One such incident took place in Olathe, Kansas when a child was hit and killed by a pick up truck. The incident took place on a residential street in a vicinity near the the day care center.  The news report identified the toddler as Harper Kay Rodden.  In initial news reports, there were no details as to how the 14 month toddler had exited the day care center, how the 14 month old toddler was supervised prior to exiting the facility, what safeguards were in place for the protection and safety of the children, and what steps could have or should have been taken to protect this child from wandering out of the day care center facility.
In a day care center case, there are essentially four elements to prove:
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By David A. Wolf, Attorney

Child Injury Lawyer Blog
Building Block - M - Day Care CenterWorking parents rely on day care centers for the proper supervision and protection of their children.  For most children, a day care center is filled with love, support, and education; however, for some unfortunate children, a day care center is the site of abuse and neglect.  In certain tragic instances, the day care center is the location where the infant or toddler takes his or her last breath.  That’s right, far too many children die in day care centers due to negligence and even reckless conduct that rises to the level of a crime.
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By David A. Wolf
Child Injury Lawyer Blog
medical_2008015232-1113int.epsThere was a tragedy reported at an Oklahoma State University homecoming parade event.  It was reported that the crash into the crowd ended the life of a graduate student, a toddler, and a couple who had worked for Oklahoma State University for many years.  A day that was supposed to be filled with fun times and food ended in grief and sorrow for the family and friends of the victims as well as the entire OSU community.
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By David A. Wolf
Child Injury Lawyer Blog
Justice Red White and BlueWorking parents do their best to support the family.  In doing so, working families need the services of day care centers.  Most day care centers are well run by caring individuals.  However, there are many day care incidents and wrongful death incidents out there that do and should cause concern for all working parents which children enrolled in a day care center.  When a child dies, there are in many instances more questions than answers and sensible explanations for the death of the child.  It should be made clear that an infant and toddler at a day care center need supervision at all times including sleep and nap time.  When a child mysteriously dies at a day care center, there is typically an investigation by local law enforcement and the social service agency that licenses day care centers.  An autopsy should be performed to help determine the cause and preventability of the death of the child.
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By David Wolf, Attorney

Published by Child Injury Lawyer Blog

Truck Accident.001In Texas and other states, commercial trucks and semi-tractor trailers are common on the streets, roads, and expressways.  Due to the size of these trucks, it is important that the truck driver take all proper and necessary safety precautions for the safety of other drivers and passengers who will travel on and through the same streets, roads, and expressways. One measure that should be taken is to inspect the vehicle before departure to make sure that the height and width of the truck can safety travel under and through all bridges and overpasses.  For instance, if the truck is equipped with a boom or crane, it is vital that the boom or crane is lowered and otherwise secured that the truck is safe for travel through all roadways on the intended itinerary.  If there are any objects that are too tall or wide for safe travel, there can be disastrous consequences, accidents, crashes, personal injuries, and wrongful deaths.

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By David Wolf, Attorney
Teddy Bear Sleeping on MoonDay care centers are relied upon to provide care for children so that parents can support the family.  While many would prefer to care for their own children during the day and avoid day care centers completely, the economics and practicality of the matter is that many parents have no other viable choice but to utilize day care centers for their children.  Tragically, deaths occur at day are centers from incidents that are foreseeable and preventable.  An otherwise normal day turns into a nightmare that lasts a lifetime when a child dies as a result of neglect, negligence, carelessness, and even intentional acts.  Children especially infants and toddlers are vulnerable for injuries and medical complications that do not typically occur with elementary age and older children. In particular, infants and toddlers are at risk for complications that take place during a common activity that takes place at just about every day care center – big and small – in the United States.  This common activity, to the surprise of many people, is sleep time or nap time.  Infants lack the muscle strength and especially the neck strength during sleep time to lift themselves off of their stomachs.  As such, if an infant is placed on his or her stomach during nap time or simply rolls over on the stomach, this can lead to a very dangerous and even fatal situation.  This is especially problematic if the supervision is lacking, if the facility is understaffed, and / or the child care providers lack the education and training to recognize the risks or to act swiftly to protect the child.  Matters are further complicated when a child is placed in sleeping or napping environment filled with soft pillows, sheets, stuffed animals, a Bobby pillow, and / or a soft mattress.  Any of these items can contribute to a tragic situation in which a child suffers injuries or dies from suffocation, SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), asphyxiation, or other similar complications.
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By  David Wolf, Attorney

Building Blocks LThe recent death of a young child in the Louisiana unlicensed day care center sparked a debate about which day care centers should be regulated.  Under Louisiana’s current system, a day care center which cares for less than seven children exclusive of family members of the day care center operator is not required to obtain a license. Because of this, smaller day care centers are operating under the radar and oversight of state and local regulations are still operating  legally. When a day care center is not licensed as required OR not required to be licensed by the state, it is common to see unqualified staff members hired, facilities that are disrepair, and supervision that falls to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the children enrolled in the day care program.