Daycare center should be held criminally and civilly responsible for infant’s death in hot van

As Delray Beach child injury lawyers, our hearts go out to the parents of a toddler who died after being left for hours in a day-care center van. Dealing with the tragic death of a child is almost too much for many families to bear.

In this case, the Sun-Sentinel reported that the 2-year-old girl was left inside a van at Katie’s Kids Learning Center for six hours. Delray Police reported that the recently hired driver had picked the toddler up at her home but the child never made it out of the van. The center closed voluntarily last week when the story broke and parents began picking up their children. The Palm Beach County Health Department said the facility had been in compliance with health codes and was licensed for 78 children.

The Sentinel questioned whether criminal charges would be filed. A father was charged for leaving an infant in a hot car in Fort Myers earlier this year, NBC2 reported. He faces up to five years in prison if convicted of a third-degree felony charge of leaving a child unattended in a motor vehicle causing great bodily harm.

In this case, the daycare center can and should be held liable for this tragedy. Our Palm Beach injury attorneys understand that no amount of compensation can begin to suffice. But ensuring that the resources are available for counseling and other needs of surviving family members is essential.

And ensuring the safety of other child entrusted to the care of this center is also critical.

The Department of Geosciences at San Francisco State University reports an average of 37 child deaths a year are caused by hyperthermia after being left in a vehicle.

Fifty infants have died in Florida cars in the last decade, more than any other state besides Texas.