Jury Finds Florida KinderCare Liable for Child's Broken Leg, $3 Million

August 20, 2009
By Gabriel Mejia, Esq. on August 20, 2009 2:10 PM | | Comments (0)

A Pinellas County, Florida jury recently found the national child day care chain, KinderCare, liable for $3 million dollars in damages after a caregiver broke the leg of a child under their care. According to reports, the caregiver broke the child's leg when he would not remain still while having his diaper changed. The caregiver was fired after the incident, but it was soon revealed that KinderCare had received a number of complaints regarding the caregiver's treatment of children under her supervision from other employees and parents. Witnesses at trial claimed the caregiver improperly handled numerous children including dropping some into their cribs and hitting another with a clipboard.

According to news reports, the jurors felt KinderCare should have responded to the warnings and concerns of employees and parents and taken action against the caregiver. Jurors also felt KinderCare should have installed cameras so that supervisors could monitor the staff's treatment of the children in their care. The caregiver pleaded no contest to felony child abuse charges for breaking the infants leg and was sentenced to one year in jail prior to the trial.

It is a difficult decision for a parent to leave their child in the care of another, but more and more families are finding it necessary for both parents to work to make ends meet. It is always best to make these difficult decisions with as much information as possible regardless of how disturbing it may be. According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Administration for Children and Families' 2007 Child Maltreatment report, approximately 0.5% of child abuse incidents occur in the day care setting. Nationally, there were 3,605 child abuse victims in the day care setting in 2007 with 24 fatalities. Florida day cares accounted for 143 of the incidents of abuse.

ChildCareAware.org provides federally sponsored information regarding child care. Here are some tips on how to make an informed decision regarding child care:

  1. Start looking for child care early in order to have enough time to gather information.
  2. Call around and utilize resources provided by local child care resource and referral centers including licensing requirements, complaints and violations, and financial assistance programs.
  3. Visit the day care center and ask questions regarding the child to adult ratio, group size, caregiver qualifications, turnover, accreditation, and any other questions you feel you need to make your decision.
  4. Make an informed choice.
  5. Stay involved with your child's care.
Of course, even the best intentions, research, and involvement cannot prevent these terrible instances of child abuse from happening in day care centers at times.  Many times, as in this case, the day care center is responsible for not taking the proper steps to ensure the safety of the children under their care.  If your child has been the victim of abuse by a day care caregiver, an attorney experienced in personal injury lawsuits will help you understand your rights and fight for the compensation your child deserves.

Gabriel Mejia, Esq. is a Coral Springs personal injury attorney handling accident and injury cases in Florida for Law Offices Cytryn and Velazquez, P.A.

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