Our lawyers represent parents and their children in lawsuits and settlements for injuries from preventable accidents and abuse in daycare centers in Maryland.
Quality of Daycare Today
Millions of parents put their kids in daycare every day. Everyone thinks and hopes their child is safe, or they would not put their child in that daycare in the first place. But good parents cannot protect their children from many possible things that can go wrong in a daycare. Children fall in playground mishaps and during horseplay. Children get hurt on the bus or are transported to field trips and activities. Tragically, some children are harmed physically and sexually by their peers or daycare providers.
These things can happen in awful daycare centers, to be sure. But they also sometimes occur in daycare facilities that seem perfect. That is what is so scary for parents.
The quality of daycare varies wildly in the country. Maryland, like most states, has crafted laws to try to protect children and to try to require daycare centers to provide minimal standards of care.
But a daycare is only as good as those working there. No law can stop a daycare provider who does not care about the children. Indeed, most people working in daycare centers are good people who love children and prioritize their safety. But there is a small subset of daycare employees who neglect the safety of children and, sometimes, act with evil intent.
Many daycare injury lawsuits are from a lack of adequate supervision. For example, is the room arranged so that people can actually have eyes on the supervision of kids? Is the playground set up so you can monitor the kids constantly? Where are the bathrooms, how are they structured, what’s the supervision structure, etc? So when you talk about when you talk about child neglect, bullying, and sexual abuse, you are talking about supervision.
This problem is worse today because good employees are harder to get and expensive to keep. So what do too many daycare facilities in Maryland do? They scale back on employees. This means fewer people (and less qualified people) are watching the students, and fewer are watching their fellow employees for abuse and neglect.
Sex Abuse in Daycare
Trusting a daycare facility with the care and well-being of our children is one of the most significant decisions parents can make. We expect these establishments to provide safe, nurturing environments for our little ones. Tragically, this trust is sometimes betrayed, leading to unthinkable harm to children. You also see many sex abuse lawsuits involving a lax staff allowing children to abuse each other sexually.
Sexual abuse in daycare facilities is more common than many realize. Such abuses can leave a child traumatized, impacting their emotional and psychological development for years. These violations often occur due to inadequate supervision, poor hiring practices, and neglect of proper background checks.
Finding Insurance Coverage
One recurring theme in daycare cases is whether the facility is licensed and has insurance to cover the injuries. Maryland law creates a lot of hoops to jump through to be a licensed daycare facility. Sometimes, the biggest battles in these cases are not proving the abuse or neglect but finding insurance coverage for the injuries. If you sue and get a verdict, there must be money to pay a settlement or verdict. One significant battle with smaller daycare facilities is whether the provider’s homeowner’s insurance applies.
Jury Payouts and Settlements Amounts in Lawsuits Against Daycare Providers
We have compiled a list of verdicts in lawsuits against daycare providers nationwide. This is not meant to be a representative sampling by any stretch.
- 2023, Missouri: $1,000,000 settlement in a daycare where staff oversight was clearly inadequate, an autistic 13-year-old boy experienced molestation by another student within the facility’s bathroom. The culprit acknowledged initiating the abuse and teaching the young victim various sexual acts. Consequently, the boy’s family secured a $1 million settlement from the daycare facility.
- 2017, Texas: $325,000 settlement for a child attacked by another child with scissors. The lawsuit alleged that the daycare providers knew this child had a propensity for violence but failed to supervise the children adequately. The parents sought compensation for their child for physical pain and suffering, mental anguish, disfigurement, physical impairment, and medical expenses.
- 2017, Nevada: $75,000 settlement for a seven-month-old who suffered a leg injury after being dropped by a daycare provider.
- 2016, Texas: $142,000,000 verdict for the death of an infant taken to a home-based daycare center. The daycare owner attempted to soothe the crying baby by swaddling him and placing him on his side in an adult bed. Several hours later, another worker entered the room and saw the child face down on the bed. The child died from asphyxiation. Obviously, the jury was infuriated and gave a stunning verdict, but the reality is that the plaintiff will be lucky to collect from a defendant who likely had no insurance.
- 2015, Minnesota: $13,500,000 verdict for a three-and-a-half-year-old who was physically and sexually assaulted by a nine-and-a-half-year-old boy at a casino daycare. Surveillance cameras in the facility recorded some of the physical assaults but did not record the sexual assault. The child was beaten, strangled, and raped by the other child. He suffered a subconjunctival hemorrhage in his eye from strangulation, numerous bruises all over his face and body, and injuries from the sexual abuse. The basis for the lawsuit in this tragedy is what we have been saying these cases are almost invariably about the failure to supervise. Juries had to be infuriated that with all the supervision and surveillance in a casino, they missed this horrific crime in its daycare. It is also hard to believe there was no out-of-court settlement in a case like this.
- 2012, Virginia: $30,000 settlement for a six-year-old boy who fell over a railing, fracturing his leg, which required an open reduction. The claim was that the deck railing was not high enough to prevent the child from falling.
- 2012, Florida: $3,000,000 verdict against a daycare provider for a child that a teacher’s 13-year-old son sexually assaulted.
- 2012, Pennsylvania: $60,300 verdict for a two-year-old whose upper lip suffered a four-inch cut by a sharp object while napping. Crazy facts: a gust of wind blows over a poster, knocks over a cup that falls off the windowsill, hits a bookshelf, and shatters. Negligence was leaving the breakable items near the sleeping kids.
- 2011, Texas: $22,500 settlement for a daycare center after it failed to care for a four-year-old child who cut his hand.
- 2011, Florida: $100,000 verdict for a five-year-old struck in the eye with a snowball thrown by an employee of the daycare on a field trip to an ice rink, causing him to lose sight in his eye. The verdict was so low the plaintiff’s lawyer filed a motion for additur, arguing that a reasonable jury would not award so little to a boy who lost an eye.
- 2011, Massachusetts: a $300,000 settlement for a child after the daycare center allowed the infant to be left alone with a four-year-old girl who scalded the infant with hot water.
Getting a Lawyer for Your Lawsuit Against a Maryland Day Care Provider
If your child has been seriously injured due to a negligent or intentional act at the child’s daycare center, our daycare injury attorneys will be glad to speak with you. Call 800-553-8082 or get a free no-obligation Internet consultation.