Parents Get $5 Million After Baby Dies At Daycare
The parents for a child who was found dead in a crib recovered a $5 million settlement from the daycare where he died. The child was found not breathing in his crib and was airlifted to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. The parents sued the daycare and have recovered $5 million from the settlement. The parents had alleged that the daycare violated Florida rules on the ratio of staff to students. Florida law requires that one caregiver be provided for every 4 infants. There were 7 infants under the care of a single caregiver the day the boy died.
Surveillance footage confirmed what the parents had feared. The seven babies were left unattended for a period of 45 minutes. When the baby was found, he was still breathing, but in obvious distress. The staff could not perform effective CPR.
Three million of the settlement will be covered by an insurance policy. The daycare owners will be required to pay $2 million out-of-pocket or discharge the rest in bankruptcy.
Analyzing the allegations
Ultimately, the daycare had no defense, but that is largely related to the lapse in care they gave to the infants. It remains unclear why the child stopped breathing, whether or not that was the daycare’s fault, or if the daycare could have done anything to stop it. Ultimately, the daycare would have claimed that the child would have died no matter where he was. Unfortunately for the daycare, he was under their negligent care.
Had the daycare simply followed the law, someone would have noted the boy’s distress earlier. So the question of how he died stopped mattering. Once the child arrived at the daycare, the daycare had a duty of care placed upon it by Florida law to staff its daycare at 4:1 ratio. It failed. Someone was supposed to be on duty at all times. No one was there. The boy went into respiratory distress, and there was no one there to respond to it. So, even if the infant was out partying the night before, the lapse in required care contributed to his death.
When is a daycare responsible for a death?
When a death occurs on a daycare’s grounds, there is a limited window to defend. Essentially, the daycare must establish that the cause of death had nothing to do with them, and that they met or exceeded all regulatory requirements on daycares. If the daycare can establish that the child was injured prior to being dropped off, and they attended to his medical needs in a professional way, then the daycare would not be liable for the death. But there are a lot of requirements placed on the daycare, and ultimately, a death on the grounds will look really bad.
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