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Baby talk

This court ruling bites-

The 1st District Court of Appeal has upheld a lower-court judgment to award $7 million to the family of a girl who was attacked and injured by a toddler at the Cradle to Crayons child-care center.

However, it's uncertain whether the family will ever collect because the child-care center didn't have liability insurance, according to David Frank, a Tallahassee attorney representing the family.

The girl was 7 months old at the time. According to affidavits from two state investigators, she had 15 to 20 teeth impressions on her skin and bruises and swelling all over her body.

The investigators concluded that the attack had happened over an extended period of time, according to court records. They said it was clear to them that there was a "gross lack of supervision and that the facility was inadequate to accommodate the safety needs" of the children who stayed there, court records state.

The girl's parents sued the child-care center and the owner/operator, Keisha Davis. A Leon County jury awarded the $7 million in damages after a one-day trial Jan. 22, 2008. Davis didn't attend the trial.

$7 million in damages for bites. What drugs was that jury taking?

You may ask the same thing about the appellate court.

The child-care center appealed and sought a new trial, arguing that the lower court erred in allowing the parents to seek punitive damages, which totaled $6 million. Florida law allows punitive damages in cases involving intentional misconduct or gross negligence.

The DCA, in an opinion issued Thursday, said the child-care center failed to appear in lower court to contest whether punitive damages could be sought.

I wish the defendants good luck collecting anything. The owner will most likely end up bankrupt because of the judgment. I don't know from this distance if that's a fair trade for what was done to the seven-month-old. How much long-term damage can a bite do?

I got a bone to pick with how Associated Press reported this story.

An appellate court has upheld a $7 million judgment against a Tallahassee day care center for the parents of a 7-month-old toddler found with bites, bruises and swelling across her body.
A 7-month-old is not a toddler. She is an infant. That is what a child is called up to their first birthday. The term toddler refers to a child 12 to 36 months old.

It just shocks me with those multiple layers of factcheckers and editors, that such an obvious mistake can be made by a member of the media.

Update- If a Tallahassee jury awards 7 million for bites, how much would they award the family of this girl.


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Comments (6)

Just how much of that $7 mi... (Below threshold)

Just how much of that $7 million is supposed to go to the attorney(s) representing the plaintiffs?

Probably 40% of it goes to ... (Below threshold)

Probably 40% of it goes to the lawyers, but it's got to be collected first.

And... there is no way this ruling is incorrect. It takes a lot of "unsupervised" time for a child to get that many injuries. If nothing else, at least this child care center is out of business. And deservedly so.

"$7 million in damages for ... (Below threshold)

"$7 million in damages for bites. What drugs was that jury taking?"

The bruises are a lot more serious than the biting; doesn't take much to seriously injure a 7 month old.

The damage to this infant i... (Below threshold)
molon labe:

The damage to this infant is more than the physical bruises. A child that age cannot move away from an attacker. This kid was being attacked repeatedly - not one random event, but repeatedly. That has got to have impacted his/her sense of security in some serious ways.

It's interesting that you c... (Below threshold)

It's interesting that you chose to omit this sentence from the original article: "David Frank, a Tallahassee attorney who has been representing the family pro-bono, said that because the child-care center didn't contest the damages at the circuit-court level, it couldn't come back and contest them before the appellate court."

Pro bono means the attorney is representing the family without charge. Failing to raise issues at trial waives those issues so they cannot be raised on appeal.

While I admit $7 million is a large amount, the story still needs to be fully and accurately reported.

I was a fierce daddy when i... (Below threshold)

I was a fierce daddy when it came to my son as a child. Had anything like this happened to him, God help the source of the attack. I would never have yielded an inch going after them. The level of negligence is just appalling.






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