The parents of a Florida child who suffered a broken femur at the hands of a day care worker have won a verdict, including punitive damages, against the day care center, which the plaintiffs alleged had an inadequate staff-to-child ratio.
In Doe v. Kindercare Learning Ctrs., Inc., the jury awarded about $3 million, including $2 million in punitive damages after they heard evidence that baby Doe, 10 months, attended day care at a Kindercare Learning Centers facility and while being diapered on a changing table by Kindercare employee Stacey Doty, Doe suffered a fractured left femur when his leg was bent back during the change. Doty was fired from Kindercare and imprisoned on child abuse charges arising out of the incident.
Doe’s parents, individually and on his behalf, sued Kindercare’s owner and operator, alleging liability for Doty’s mistreatment of Doe. The parents claimed that Doe also suffered a brain injury as a result of his treatment at Kindercare, where, they charged, children were regularly pushed and thrown by overwhelmed staff who were often in charge of rooms with inadequate staff-to-child ratios.