Child Acquires Mysterious Injuries at Florida Preschool
After one couple’s child came home with suspicious bruises on her cheeks, surveillance revealed that the toddler acquired the bruises due to being force-fed by her teacher at her preschool, King’s Academy in West Palm Beach. The parents are now suing the school for injuring their daughter, as the video explicitly shows the child’s head being forced back several times while food is also forced into her mouth.
Prior to the surveillance being discovered, the school claimed that the bruises on the child’s cheeks were due to a teacher trying to prevent the child from choking. However, the teachers involved have since been fired, supposedly for failing to “follow safety protocols.”
An incident like this can give rise to claims alleging both assault and battery. Unfortunately, it isn’t the first set of allegations filed against a preschool or daycare in Florida: In July, a former teacher and daycare center (Baldwin Park) were accused of sexually assaulting children. And only one month later, a separate lawsuit was filed on several counts—ranging from assault and battery—to negligent supervision by teachers and supervisors—at the Butcher Education Center in association with Emporia State University.
When incidents like these happen, the Florida Department of Children and Families is sent in to investigate. In these types of cases, not only can the individual who caused the harm directly be sued, but the children’s center as well for failing to properly protect the affected children, as well as conduct the proper background checks on any teachers involved in the abuse. These facilities arguably have a legal duty to conduct the proper background checks on their staffers, as well as prevent battery; particularly when it is foreseeable.
In the July case, records indicated that the teacher in question was previously fired from another teaching job, and was even previously convicted of making a bomb threat in 2012. These types of facts are reasonably easy to find, and should thus have been found and taken seriously by the facility before deciding to hire the teacher.
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Infants and children can become helpless victims, incapable of defending themselves in the face of negligent or reckless, intentional misconduct of an adult. Living with the aftermath of a child who has been the victim of assault and/or battery can be crushing to a family. Many parents not only want to move on and ensure that their children can start to heal, but also draw attention to the issue and obtain justice so that other children are not similarly harmed.
At Lavalle, Brown & Ronan, P.A., we are here to help with that. Our experienced personal injury and civil litigation attorneys are here to provide you with a free consultation—contact us today to discuss your options.