BLF Attorneys Help Texas Family Get Justice After Son Locked in After School Daycare’s Cheerleading Van on Hot Day
The family of a Killeen boy now has closure and can move forward after a traumatizing incident, thanks to a settlement secured against the little boy’s after-school daycare by our attorneys at The Button Law Firm.
On a hot day in 2021, an after-school daycare’s cheerleading program was responsible for taking a group of young children, including the little boy, from their school to the cheerleading facility. The facility's employee who drove the van failed to count the correct number of children exiting the van and also failed to perform the proper procedure for name-to-face recognition. This resulted in the little boy being left unattended in the locked van in 93-degree heat. It took 25 minutes before someone passing by spotted him banging on the windows and screaming for help. The passerby alerted the cheerleading program’s daycare that the little boy was still in the van. Until that point, none of the daycare employees even noticed the little boy was missing.
To make matters worse, the daycare did not contact emergency services or local law enforcement and did not notify the boy’s parents at the time of the incident, as required by Texas law. The facility continued to fail the little boy and his family by neglecting to tell the little boy’s mom at pick-up.
That experience was overwhelming for the young child. He developed substantial behavioral changes, including tantrums and outbursts, following the incident. The little boy was screaming, yelling, hitting, and showing signs of anxiety and depression, which the doctors linked to the trauma he experienced from being locked in the daycare van. The little boy was even forced to quit karate as the driver of the van was kept on staff, which made the boy too uncomfortable to continue his training.
The little boy’s parents contacted our experienced Texas daycare injury lawyers at The Button Law Firm to hold the cheerleading program’s daycare accountable for their son’s trauma and to protect other children from outcomes that could be more dangerous or even fatal. The settlement secured by our daycare neglect lawyers will provide the family with tools to help the child heal psychologically and emotionally.
How This Child Neglect Incident Could Have Been Prevented
This entire incident was 100% preventable. All daycares that provide transportation services are required to follow specific rules, as outlined by Texas Health and Human Services, for the care and safety of children. The four precautions for drivers when loading and unloading children are as follows:
- Load and unload children at the curbside of the vehicle or in a protected parking area or driveway
- Do not allow a child to cross a street unless the child is accompanied by an adult any time before entering or after leaving a vehicle
- Account for all children exiting the vehicle before leaving it unattended
- Never leave a child unattended in a vehicle
Clearly the cheerleading program’s daycare staff neglected to follow two of the four state regulations intended to keep the little boy safe and prevent incidents like this case. Thankfully, leaving the child unattended in a locked van in Texas did not turn fatal on this hot day.
A Texas Cheerleading Daycare’s History of Transportation and Training Failures
As a result of the incident, the Texas Health and Human Services and the Texas Department of Family Protective Services conducted an investigation, which revealed that an alarming amount of required employee training at the facility had not been completed. The organization determined that the little boy was the victim of neglectful supervision.
Shockingly, this was not the first time that the facility failed to meet minimum transportation safety requirements or employed unqualified and untrained caregivers. The cheerleading program’s daycare had been cited 11 times in the five years prior to this incident for various offenses, in addition to dozens of investigations into allegations of violations.
How The Button Law Firm Can Help Your Family with a Daycare Van Injury Case in Texas
If your child was neglected at daycare, school, or camp, contact our compassionate child injury attorneys at The Button Law Firm. With offices in Dallas, Houston, and Midland, we are experienced in working on cases involving children anywhere across Texas. Our attorneys will listen to you and your child to assess the situation and determine where a daycare, school, or camp failed to protect your child in its care. Our attorneys at The Button Law Firm are recognized on the prestigious Texas Super Lawyers list, and we can help guide you after a traumatizing incident involving your child. We work on contingency, meaning we don’t charge you or collect any upfront fees to get started on your case. Call us at 214-699-4409 or fill out the contact form below for a free consultation.