The parents of a three-year-old child who died in a tragic accident at a Head Start child care program are suing for $10 million. The wrongful death lawsuit alleges that the child’s death could have been prevented if reasonable care had been exercised to ensure a safe environment.
The accidental death occurred at a Head Start in Dearborn Heights, Michigan. Several retractable lunch tables were leaning against a wall that the child was playing next to. The heavy, decades-old tables fell from the wall, opening up, and crushing the small child. In addition to not being properly secured to the wall, the tables were in disrepair and hadn’t been used for years. The lawsuit alleges that proper inspection of the tables would have prevented this tragedy.
What is Wrongful Death?
When negligence, carelessness, or recklessness results in a death, surviving family members can obtain compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit. Wrongful death liability differs from liability for death caused by misconduct and criminal behavior in that the liable person or persons didn’t intend to cause the death. As such, wrongful death lawsuits impose civil, not criminal, consequences. In many cases, a surviving spouse, parent, or child can file a lawsuit and obtain compensation to effectively replace the loss of income, benefits, and other forms of financial and emotional support.
There are time limits to filing a claim for wrongful death. An experienced MA personal injury attorney can help you determine if you should file a wrongful death lawsuit following the death of a loved one. In addition to time limits, the loss of evidence over time can negatively impact the outcome of your lawsuit. As with most types of injury lawsuits, time is of the essence.
Liability of Child Care Facilities
Kids get hurt. And not all bumps and bruises are the result of negligence. But serious injuries, and even chronic minor injuries, may indicate negligence. In some cases, injuries can even indicate abuse. A Boston injury lawyer can provide a free consultation to help you determine whether you have a strong enough case to warrant a lawsuit.
Common Injuries Related to Child Care Negligence and Abuse
Negligence and abuse can take many forms, resulting in minor or serious injures, even death. Some of the more serious injuries include:
- Injuries from high falls
- Dehydration from lack of access to water
- Choking on non-food objects
- Injuries suffered from “wandering away” due to inadequate fencing or gating
- Burns or injuries related to exposure to chemicals and toxic or poisonous substances
- Cuts and wounds from sharp or rusty objects
Determining whether your child’s injuries are a result of negligence or abuse isn’t always an easy task. There are certain elements used to determine liability in child care negligence claims. These elements include:
- The care provider had a duty to exercise reasonable care.
- The care provider breached that duty.
- The injury would not likely have occurred if the care provider hadn’t breached his or her duty.
- The injury was caused by the breach.