As a Pembroke Pines child injury attorney, I was very interested to see a story about a lawsuit against day-care center that left a child alone when employees went home for the evening. The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported Jan. 14 that Inari Martin, 16 months, was put down for a nap by an employee who didn’t mention the child to others before leaving. When her mother, Natasha Henry, came to pick her up, Henry found the building locked and dark and couldn’t reach the center’s employees. Inari was fine, but Henry claims the panic of not knowing where her child was caused her to go into premature labor at 35 weeks. It’s the second known lawsuit against the center, though the details of the first were not reported.
According to the lawsuit, Henry had been bringing her daughter to the center for 11 months before the Jan. 6 incident. As was usual, she arrived at the center between 7:30 and 8 p.m., after work, to pick up Inari. However, the center was closed. Henry tried repeatedly to call center employees or its director, her lawsuit claims, but had no success. Panicking and feeling contractions, she called the Broward County Sheriff’s Office. Officers managed to reach an employee, who said it was possible that employees had forgotten Inari. Knowing that temperatures were likely to dip into the 40s that evening, police decided to break through a glass door out of concern for Inari’s safety. They found the girl in the dark, cold, wet and crying, but unharmed. It was not reported whether Henry ended up delivering her child.
As a North Miami injuries to minors attorney, I am interested in this article in part because the reported facts so clearly point to liability by the center. In many cases involving injuries to children and teenagers, an injury lawsuit follows a criminal prosecution by the local State’s Attorney. But in this case, there may not actually be a criminal statute that applies — that is, the center and its employees may not be guilty of any crime. (They may still have violated administrative rules and face professional consequences, like the loss of a license.) Of course, plaintiffs are free to bring legal claims even in cases where there is a criminal prosecution as well. But when prosecutors cannot or will not bring criminal charges, families may have no access to justice whatsoever unless they choose to pursue a civil claim like Henry’s.
Cohn, Smith & Cohn is proud to represent clients seeking justice and financial compensation after a serious injury to their kids or teenagers. That includes emotional and financial injuries as well as physical wounds or illness. In fact, in most cases involving serious physical injury, victims also have high medical bills from treating those injuries — even if they have health insurance. And particularly in cases of injuries to children, victims may also have suffered emotional trauma that requires professional help to ease and correct. Our Dania Beach injuries to children lawyers help families recover the money necessary to cover these and all other bills related to their accidents. In a lawsuit, victims can also claim damages for their injuries, pain and any permanent disability or wrongful death.
If your child has suffered a severe injury because of someone else’s carelessness, Cohn, Smith & Cohn can help. To set up a free confidential evaluation of your case, please contact us through the Internet or call our main office in Broward County at (954) 431-8100.