When Alabama parents leave their children in the hands of daycare professionals, they do so with the belief that their children will be loved and taken care of by responsible caretakers.
Unfortunately, the recent shutdown of a Homewood daycare over the wrongful death of a 4-year-old boy demonstrates the real-world consequences of a seemingly negligent daycare.
Homewood Daycare Shut Down Following a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
La Petite Academy, an Alabama daycare in Homewood, has been shut down after being accused of negligence that caused the death of a 4-year-old. Micah McMullen was placed on a pillow-type sleeper by daycare employees before being left unattended.
While unattended, the parents of Micah McMullen allege that there was no employee present to help the child. While sleeping, at some point Micah rolled into a position which left him incapable of breathing properly. As a result, the boy suffocated and suffered severe brain damage before being taken to Children’s of Alabama hospital. A few days later, Micah McMullen passed away.
The family, who has now filed a wrongful death and negligence lawsuit against the daycare, accuse La Petite Academy of putting the child on a “pillow-type sleeper” and leaving the child unsupervised. If these allegations in the lawsuit prove true, the daycare will be in violation of state law. Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident for the Homewood daycare.
Three other complaints have been filed against the daycare since 2012, and Homewood police continue to investigate a separate abuse complaint filed against the daycare as well. As a result of these investigations, the Alabama Department of Human Resources suspended the daycare’s license indefinitely, leading the daycare to close its operations.
The investigation’s findings should be released soon, but in the interim, it seems likely that the McMullen lawsuit has merit on wrongful death and negligence grounds.
Alabama law defines a wrongful death as a death caused by the wrongful act, negligence or omission of another. Alabama law also allows the deceased’s estate to bring a lawsuit in any case where the deceased could have brought a lawsuit had they lived.
It is worth stressing that the ability to file an Alabama wrongful death lawsuit is limited solely to the representative of the deceased’s estate. In other words, the estate may bring a wrongful death lawsuit, as opposed to the family members.
As such, all damages in Alabama wrongful death cases are paid to the estate. An Alabama injury attorney works with the family of the deceased to ensure that the estate representative qualification is met.
The state of Alabama also has a two-year time limit to file a wrongful death claim within Alabama’s civil court system. This time limit is known as a statute of limitations, meaning the lawsuit must be filed within two years of the date of death.
If your Alabama loved one has been the victim of a negligent and wrongful death in Mobile, Baldwin or Escambia Counties or the city of Foley, discuss your wrongful death lawsuit with experienced Alabama injury attorney Noel B. Leonard. Contact attorney Noel B. Leonard or call 251-732-2701 to find out whether the deceased’s estate is entitled to damages for their wrongful death.