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What If My Child Is Assaulted by a Family Member of the Day Care Owner?

By David M. Baum, Attorney and David Alan Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network


Children should be provided with a safe and clean educational environment while under the care of a day care center. Many day care facilities provide such an environment for children. Others, however, fail to meet their obligations. Unfortunately and tragically, children are sometimes the victims of the bad acts and conduct of family members of the day care center owner. This often times takes place in a home day care center. While background checks and training are checked for employees, family members often go under the radar of the owner and the State licensing agencies.

In Winthrop Harbor, Ilinois, it was reported that the 17 year old son (Brett A. Degler) was arrested for allegedly sexually abusing three girls under the care and supervision of his mother’s in home day care center. The 17 year old has been charged with multiple counts of predatory sexual assault of a child. It was reported that the incidents took place during a 5 month time period and came to light when one of the girls reported discomfort to her parents. See 17 Year Old Charged with Criminal Acts at Day Care Center Owned by His Mother.

One of a parents worst nightmares is having a child assaulted and abused in an environment that seemed to be safe and by a person who was thought to be trustworthy. It is often times difficult for a parent to foresee such horrendous acts especially if the criminal Defendant had no prior criminal history and / or had not been caught previously committing such bad acts.

If a child is sexually assaulted or otherwise harmed a day care center, the police and State licensing authorities should be contacted to conduct an investigation. In addition, the parents of the injured child may decide to seek legal representation to determine the respective legal rights of the child. Issues often arise that involve liability insurance, health insurance, and other issues that can be handled by a Child Injury Lawyer.

From a practical standpoint, it is helpful if the day care owner has liability insurance in place to cover the bad acts of the family member. Unfortunately, many day care center liability insurance policies exclude criminal acts and / or acts involving the sexual assault of a child. While it is helpful for liability insurance to be in place, the availability of liability insurance is not a prerequisite to pursue a legal case or claim against the day care center.

The book titled – The ABCs of Child Injury – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – What Every Parent Should Know – has chapters on Day Care Center Injuries, School Injuries, Child Abuse and Neglect, Damages / Compensation, and other matters. See The ABCs of Child Injury.

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