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...Read More »
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