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Criminal Charges in FL Toddler Daycare Death

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By Laura Strachan, Esq. on August 26, 2010 7:12 AM

Criminal charges have been filed in the Florida toddler daycare death case against the driver who left 2 year-old Haile Brockington unattended for hours in a hot van. 31 year-old Amanda Inman has been charged with aggravated manslaughter after failing to check all the seats of the van, and ultimately leaving Brockington in the van for over six hours before she was finally discovered.

Additionally, Haile Brockington's family has filed a civil suit against the daycare company and Inman. NBC Miami reports that Inman was driving the Katie's Kids Learning Center van and picked Brockington up in the morning, but did not check all the seats after dropping the kids off at the daycare center for the day. Inman also moved the van later in the day, but it was not until the evening that another child noticed Brockington "slobbering on the seats." By the time emergency assistance arrived, it was too late.

Haile's cause of death was ultimately determined to be systemic hyperthermia. In the civil suit, the family seeks unspecified damages relating to pain and suffering as well as medical and funeral expenses stemming from this untimely death. It can often be confusing how one incident can have so many different charges and lawsuits. In this case, the civil suit was brought by the Brockington family whereas the state will be prosecuting Amanda Inman in a separate criminal proceeding.

Manslaughter requires a showing of reckless or criminal negligence on the part of the defendant that leads to an unintentional death. In this case, Inman owed a duty to Haile (and her family) as an employee of the daycare company entrusted to watch the toddler. Whether intentional or forgetful, this duty was grossly breached by failing to keep track of all the children under her supervision, and there were deadly consequences stemming from her failure to check the van on two separate occasions. Currently, Inman is being held in a Palm Beach, Florida jail without bail.

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