Posted on December 14, 2012 in Personal Injury
Nearly 11 million children are in child care programs across the nation, including larger child care centers, smaller home day cares, and in-home nannies, according to Child Care Aware of America. When children die in these facilities, the tragedies are often branded by inadequate investigative measures, lack of communication, and low social visibility. Child Care Aware notes the U.S. has a concerning lack of federal reporting requirements for child care fatalities, and only 38 states require licensed facilities to report when a child dies under their watch.
Furthermore, although larger child care facilities are generally inspected at least once a year, home day cares typically have no mandatory inspections and usually only show up on the radar if officials receive a tip.
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) plays an all-too-often role in these essentially invisible deaths, especially when child care providers continue to place children to sleep on their stomachs or on improper sleeping equipment (like adult beds) despite widespread acknowledgment of the dangers. The CDC reports about 2,300 deaths are due to SIDS every year, where the cause of death remains unexplained even after thorough investigations. Families of these victims may be able to file wrongful death claims if it is determined their child’s death was preventable and caused by the negligence of their child care provider.
Such may have been the case for a 3-month-old infant who died last month while under the care of Deborah Terry Thompson, who ran a small daycare for up to six children in her East Stroudsburg, PA home. According to The Morning Call, Jasaan Z. Feliciano was found unresponsive after being put to sleep on his stomach on a bed littered with potentially suffocating items – blankets, pillows, clothing, a cat, milk, and his 14-month-old sibling, according to the Department of Public Welfare.
While the cause of death has not yet been determined, the Department has charged Thompson with negligence and misconduct and she has lost her license to operate a daycare facility. The state withdrew Thompson’s certificate because she allegedly violated regulations relating to infant sleeping positions and equipment, general health and safety, pets, and reporting injury or death. Failure to comply with such regulations may substantiate wrongful death claims against daycare providers.
If, like the family of Jasaan, you are coping with the tragedy of your child’s death while in a child care program, the child injury and wrongful death lawyers at Console & Hollawell are here to talk you through your legal rights to compensation. Contact us today at (800) 455-2746.