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Parents prevail in wrongful death claim after Texas tragedy

Many parents entrust their children to day care facilities in Texas so the parents can work outside their homes. Obviously, parents have the right to reasonably assume that their children will be kept safe while in the care of professional day care providers. They also expect that all state and federal laws and regulations governing such care will be followed during the course of each day's activities. This was not the case for one set of parents, causing them to pursue a wrongful death claim after a tragedy occurred.

The parents had placed their 7-month-old son in the care of a Texas day care facility in 2014. The child was swaddled during his nap time, which is against state law. At some point, he was found unresponsive, face down, at the home care establishment. Since state law prohibits children from being wrapped snugly in cloths (swaddling) during naps, the parents accused the facility of negligence.

The parents had initially requested $7 million in damages. The jury awarded an amount 20 times higher, however. The $142 million verdict is thought to be the largest of its kind in the county where the trial took place. Some think it might even be the largest ever rendered for this type of claim in the United States.

Whether the Texas plaintiffs will actually receive any of the monies remains to be seen, as their attorney stated that the facility has been shut down and did not have appropriate insurance coverage. Filing a wrongful death claim after suffering infant's death is obviously an intensely emotional experience. An experienced attorney would be able to act on behalf of grief-stricken parents, alleviating at least some of the stress associated with filing a claim so that parents can focus on their personal needs during such a sorrowful time.

Source: The Dallas Morning News, "Dallas parents win $142M verdict after infant suffocates at day care", Sarah Mervosh, June 23, 2016

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