In this case a daycare teacher took a group of 3- and 4-year-old students to the playground and distributed the contents of a box of toys that included jump ropes among other things, and sat on a bench as the children played. She was the only adult present at the playground. The teacher did not notice a rope being taken to the top of a slide, then being looped around the railing of the slide’s platform, or next being looped around a 3-year-old’s neck. It was after this that the 3-year-old slid down the slide with a rope around his neck, unnoticed by the daycare teacher.
The teacher did not notice anything wrong until she saw the child hanging motionless on the slide by the jump rope. His face was blue and he did not appear to be breathing.
At the hospital, the child experienced seizure activity, posturing, and clenching of the teeth, all consistent with a hypoxic brain injury. The child spent several nights in the hospital before being discharged to the care of his mother. He had sustained a strangulation injury with oxygen deprivation to his brain. Since the incident, the child has struggled with impulsivity, unprovoked aggression, and some loss of balance, and, most importantly, his doctors have stated a need for some level of lifelong medical care.
“Jump ropes are not age-appropriate toys for 3– to 4-year-olds, especially on playgrounds with very limited adult supervision,” said attorney David Yarborough. “The daycare center denied liability and we had to fight for more than two years before they finally capitulated and waved the white flag. It is scary to think that you can send your baby to school one day only to get that phone call that he has been injured and will never be the same.”
Disclaimer: The settlements and verdicts shown here should not be considered as a description or characterization of the quality of the firm’s representation and in no way should be interpreted as a guarantee of a specific result or outcome of any particular case. As such, the reader should not rely on the cases below to develop any expectation regarding the value of his or her case.