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What are the Legal Rights When a Day Care Center Ignores the Allergies of a Child?  Death of Child in New York Day Care Center From a Grilled Cheese Sandwich

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. 


When evaluating a potential day care center case involving personal injuries and / or wrongful death, there are four elements to establish:

1 – Duty;
2 – Breach of Duty;
3 – Causation; and
4 – Damages

When a child is accepted and enrolled in a day care center, there is a duty to provide reasonable supervision and care.  If a child has a food allergy that is reported to the day care center, then the day care center has a duty to closely monitor that child to make sure that the child does not consume a food time in the allergy list.  If a child has a dairy allergy, certainly the service of a cheese product would be a breach of the duty.  If there is a breach of duty that, in turn, causes damages then the four elements would have been established.

A civil case or claim can be brought on behalf of a child against a private day care center as well as a government one when the laws of the particular state allow for such lawsuits or claims against a government owned or operated day care center.  From a practical standpoint, it is important for the day care center to have liability insurance coverage in place.  Unfortunately, a number of day care centers do not carry liability insurance or have just a limited amount of liability insurance coverage.

David Wolf is a personal injury / child injury attorney with over 27 years of experience.  He is the author of 11 books that focus on personal injury matters including the case book titled – The ABCs of Child Injury – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – What Every Parent Should Know. The book has chapters on Day Care Center Injuries, Playground Injuries, School Injuries, Theme Park and Amusement Park Injuries, and other topics. You can get this book for free at The ABCs of Child Injury.  David Wolf provides a Free Consultation on all personal injury cases.

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