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Posts Tagged "supervise"

Meatball Choking Death Leads To Preschool Lawsuit

Posted by on Nov 5, 2013 in Uncategorized, Wrongful Death Claims

Meatball Choking Death Leads To Preschool Lawsuit

The Insurance Journal recently ran a story that I am sure going to be following into the future.  The story involves a lawsuit filed in Oregon by the parents of a 3 1/2-year-old girl who choked on a meatball during lunch at preschool.  The child experienced respiratory and cardiac arrest and died the next day.  The parents have alleged that the preschool failed to properly observe and supervise the child during lunch. Over the last couple of years, we have represented two preschool children who have suffered serious injuries to their upper extremities — one’s hand crushed by a collapsed folding table and the other losing the tip of a finger when it was caught on the hinge side of a closing door. In all three cases, injuries (and death in the Oregon case) could have been avoided if daycare staff had simply done their jobs and stayed attentive to the children they were being paid to educate and supervise.  For example, it seems reasonable to have a staff member closely monitoring children while they eat in order to make sure that none of the children choke.  In the event that a child appeared to be choking, it would seem reasonable for a staff member to be close enough (and attentive enough) to render aid.  Of course, this assumes that the preschool is being properly staffed for student/teacher ratio to begin with. Even momentary lapses in concentration can have tragic consequences when it comes to small children.  Every parent knows this.  Every worker at a preschool or daycare should know this, too. If you have any questions following an incident at a preschool or daycare, call Winter Park personal injury attorneys Kim Cullen and Robert Hemphill at...

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Insurance Companies Often Add Insult To Injury Of Child Sexual Abuse Victims

Posted by on Jul 24, 2013 in Child Sexual Abuse

Insurance Companies  Often Add Insult To Injury Of Child Sexual Abuse Victims

I saw a piece in the Kansas City Business Journal regarding child sexual abuse cases that I thought might be informative for anyone considering bringing a claim against an institutional defendant for child sexual abuse. Institutional defendants is a term I use to describe organizations who provide services to children, and who are supposed to screen, background check, and supervise the adults they put in contact with those children. The Business Journal article chronicled efforts by Chicago Insurance Co. to avoid having to provide liability insurance coverage to the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City for tens of millions of dollars in settlements the Diocese agreed to pay as a result of rampant sexual abuse committed by Diocese priests. According to the story, Chicago Ins. is using a tactic often utilized by insurance companies here in Florida. In cases involving sexual abuse, insurance companies often try to avoid having to pay victims based upon arguments that the sexual abuse injuries are not “personal injuries” under the language of the insurance policy, or that claims are excluded as “assaults and batteries.” Child sexual abuse victims need to understand that they are often going to face two major battles on the way to trying to win the war of recovering compensation. The first battle will be proving that the abuse happened, and how and why it happened. The second (and perhaps more difficult) battle is figuring out how to actually recover damages. Unfortunately, these battles often leave child sexual abuse victims feeling even more violated. This is a crying shame (oftentimes, literally.) If you have questions regarding a Florida child sexual abuse case, call Winter Park personal injury attorneys Kim Cullen and Robert Hemphill at...

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How Closely Was Classroom Being Supervised in Mims Elementary Inappropriate Touching?

Posted by on Mar 7, 2013 in Child Sexual Abuse

How Closely Was Classroom Being Supervised in Mims Elementary Inappropriate Touching?

What would you think if you were summoned to your child’s kindergarten class with other parents, and questioned about whether your child had ever mentioned being inappropriately touched? As a father of four children, I think I would be horrified. Apparently, this is the situation that parents in a Mims Elementary kindergarten class faced earlier this week. According to a story posted on  Local 6/Clickorlando.com, an investigation by the Department of Children and Families, the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office, and Brevard Public Schools at Mims Elementary is under way involving allegations of inappropriate touching. Investigators are not sharing many details at this point, but the story mentions that the regular classroom teacher has been pulled from this kindergarten class. Parents are quoted as saying they are “concerned” about what might have gone on in the classroom. I would bet that “concerned” is an understatement. As a Florida child sexual abuse attorney, I know that the effects of child sexual abuse often last a lifetime. The damage done to a child during these formative years can have major psychological impact for years to come, including being detrimental to adult relationships and healthy sexuality. While the Brevard County Schools were correct to conduct an investigation, the School Board can still face liability depending upon the facts and circumstances of what happened in the classroom. Institutions, like schools, that cater to kids and place them in regular contact with adults, such as teachers, must supervise the contacts between children and adults. Supervision means paying attention to indicators, even if they were subtle, that something inappropriate was happening. In my experience handling cases involving negligent supervision, there are almost always signs that were ignored and shouldn’t have been. It will be interesting to see how this story...

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