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Wrongful Death Suit Filed in Daycare Death

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By Laura Strachan, Esq. on August 13, 2010 1:13 PM

Charges of active negligence, vicarious liability, and failure to train staff have been filed in the wrongful death suit relating to a recent daycare death. Katie's Kids Learning Center, a West Palm Beach, Florida daycare, has been voluntarily closed since the death. The lawsuit has been filed against the daycare, as well as a staff member believed to be responsible for negligently supervising the toddler.

2 year-old Haile Brockington was found dead in a van outside the daycare last week. Attorney for the family, Andrew Yaffa is quoted in WPBF News: "At the end of the day, when all the children were piling into the van to head home, there was a young child who headed to the back and saw the child sitting in the car seat and attempted to wake Haile and play with her as she normally would. And when Haile wouldn't wake up, she notified the driver that Haile was in fact in the car and wouldn't wake up." The complaint notes that the van was very hot at the time Haile was discovered, although the family does not know how long Haile was left unattended for.

Haile Brockington's parents have requested a jury trial for the daycare death, and also allege that there have been prior incidents with Katie's Kids leaving children unattended in vans and at schools. Haile's family is seeking medical expenses, funeral expenses, and damages relating to pain and suffering.

Wrongful death suits pose a particular challenge in the determination of damages when it comes to young children, because the figure cannot be too speculative. In requesting a jury trial, the parents are allowing the jury to determine the size of the damages. However, the jury award is not necessarily the end of the inquiry, as the judge has discretion to increase or decrease a wrongful death award, or even order a new trial. In requesting a jury trial, the Brockington family realizes the emotional aspect of their family tragedy, and hopes that a jury of their peers will be sympathetic to their case.

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