Articles Posted in Child Safety

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A recent playground injury involving a child reached a state supreme court, which was tasked with considering whether sovereign immunity laws protected defendant school district from liability for allegedly defective equipment. playground

Sovereign immunity is a legal principle handed down by the English that held the “sovereign” or government could not be held liable for tort actions. The theory is that the government needs to be able to carry out basic function and policies without fear of liability. But this is not absolute. In Florida, there are exceptions under F.S. 768.28, the state’s waiver of sovereign immunity.

Sovereign immunity laws vary from state-to-state. The case in question was weighed by the Colorado Supreme Court, which decided a piece of playground equipment that was not negligently constructed or maintained can’t be considered a “dangerous condition” for purposes of the sovereign immunity exception.  Continue reading →

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The Florida Supreme Court was asked to consider whether four female students at a school in South Florida should be allowed to proceed to trial with their lawsuit against a teacher and the county school board, alleging negligence for sexual molestation that reportedly occurred.crying

The personal injury lawsuit was originally filed in July 2006 by the four students and their parents. In a third amended complaint, filed in 2011, respondents alleged claims of negligent supervision, negligent retention, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligent infliction of emotional distress. Respondents also filed a claim for violation of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which centers on the prohibition of sex discrimination by entities that receive federal education dollars.

The school board sought to remove the Title IX claim (and another claim not relevant), arguing that this particular claim was prohibited at this point by the statute of limitations because it didn’t relate to the original filing. Continue reading →

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A 1-year-old girl was injured in Fort Myers in a back over accident at a family gathering. childbicycle

According to a news report by NBC-2, the family was gathered for an outdoor cookout on a recent Friday afternoon.

The girl’s mother told authorities a relative was pulling his truck out of the driveway when the toddler suddenly ran behind the vehicle. She then fell over, and the truck ran over her arm. Continue reading →

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Every year in the U.S., an estimated 200,000 children under the age of 14 are treated in hospital emergency rooms for playground-related injuries, according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. Many of these injuries are preventable, caused by either defective playground equipment or inadequate supervision.playground

Three-fourths of these incidents occur at schools or daycare centers. Almost half are considered “severe” injuries: Concussions and traumatic brain injuries, dislocations, fractures and even amputations.

Several recent cases in litigation highlight the danger.

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It is well-established that schools, daycare centers, camps and other similar institutions owe a duty of care to students and minors in their care. This includes the duty to properly supervise, protect against abuse during compulsory attendance periods, and to immediately report it if such abuse becomes known. girl2

In cases where schools have failed in these duties, victims of sexual assault have grounds to pursue a civil tort – or injury lawsuit – against the school for compensation.

For many victims, it is not about the money, though many do require extensive therapy and treatment to regain emotional stability. It’s often more about holding the school or center accountable, and ensuring such failed oversight doesn’t harm other children.

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Memories of summer in childhood should be recalled with fondness – splashing by the pool, road trip vacations and long, lazy afternoons.
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However, parents and caregivers must take note: Summer is also a time when hazards abound. Our Fort Myers child injury lawyers have seen cases here in Southwest Florida in which children have suffered from heatstroke. Tragedy on the roadways has occurred when children weren’t properly belted into a car seat or they encountered fatigued or drunken drivers. While on bicycles, children have serious suffered injuries after being struck by a vehicle. Children left unsupervised by the pool have drowned, and others injured by fireworks or defective products.

While it’s true that injuries to children can occur at any point in the year, summer carries its own unique challenges, and it’s important for parents to become educated. That’s why the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has launched a campaign to encourage awareness of potential injuries children may suffer in summer.
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When you entrust your child to someone’s care, you are trusting that they will care for the child as their own – or at the very least, as basic standards require.
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Unfortunately, our Lehigh Acres child injury lawyers know that child-care facilities and home day care centers are prone to lapses. There have been numerous instances wherein these lapses have resulted in serious injuries, or tragic death.

For example, a recent case out of Bradenton involved a 4-month-old infant who died while in daycare. Upon further investigation by the Florida Department of Children and Families, it was revealed a day care worker had tested positive for cocaine and marijuana. Additionally, surveillance footage unveiled several licensing violations. And while the daycare workers said the infant was fed and placed in a crib to sleep on her side, surveillance footage showed that in fact, the child was put in a bouncy swing with a prop for the infant to feed herself. The child was then put in the crib, on her stomach, without being burped. The child was seen in the video kicking her legs and trying to lift her head. Within two hours, she was unresponsive and declared dead. An investigation is ongoing.
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Authorities with the Lee County Sheriff’s Office are investigating a crash that occurred between two pickup trucks, resulting in four people sustaining serious injuries, including a 15-month-old infant they say was not properly restrained in the vehicle.

Experienced
Car accident attorneys
know, while it may not always be convenient to ensure a child is properly belted in, it’s critical to ensuring they are safe – each and every trip. A driver who fails to properly restrain a child in Florida faces a $60 fine and 3 points added to his license, though the possible consequences in a crash could be far worse. portraits.jpg

The News-Press reports the crash happened on State Route 82, between Alabama Road and Sunshine Boulevard, sometime after 7 a.m. on a Saturday. A 34-year-old from Immokalee was driving a pickup westbound on State Route 82, with a 21-year-old adult female passenger and a 15-month-old baby girl in the backseat unrestrained. An 18-year-old from Fort Myers was also driving his pickup in the opposite direction when authorities say he suddenly veered into the oncoming lane of traffic, and the two trucks collided head-on.
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Close to 9,500 children visit an emergency room because of pinches, falls, cuts and other high chair-related injuries each and every year, according to a report in the Daily News.
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In a recent study, researchers found that parents aren’t using their high chairs’ safety restraints (properly — or at all) and that there are many high chairs that aren’t meeting the current federal safety standards.

Our product liability attorneys understand the risks for high chair-related accidents are on the rise. The number of injuries has actually spiked more than 20 percent from 2003 to 2010. The findings of this new study are raising some pretty serious questions regarding high chair safety. Of these injuries, close to 90 percent are to the face and head. Less than 3 percent of these injuries were considered “mild”. The rest required hospitalization.
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If you’ve just had a baby, you’re expecting, or you’re taking care of a young child, it’s important that you provide them with a safe sleeping environment. Babies spend much of their time sleeping, and their nursery should be the safest room in the house.
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Officials with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) are working to create a safer generation of cribs through a number of new federal requirements.

Our Fort Myers child injury attorneys understand that 10,000 infant ER visits a year are because of crib malfunctions or mishaps. What’s more, 100 infants and toddlers each year die as a result of unsafe sleeping environments, according to NBC NEWS. Now, officials are requiring cribs with traditional drop-sides to not be made or sold. They are also not allowing any kind of repair kits or immobilizers. The wood slats on current cribs are required to be manufactured at strength to prevent the wood from breaking. Also, cribs hardware is required to come equipped with anti-loosening devices to keep parts from coming loose or completely falling off.

The mattress supports must also be more durable and officials are required to put these cribs through more rigorous safety tests.
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