When we think of wrongful death, we often think of hospital or medical errors, or perhaps a car crash that takes a loved one. Most of us do not see the potential for someone to do wrong to an infant, depriving them of their young life.
And yet that is precisely what happened to a young one-year-old baby whose parents are now suing her former nanny for wrongful death; specifically, for negligent, willful, reckless, malicious, and/or grossly negligent acts that resulted in their daughter’s death three years ago after suffering from brain swelling and bleeding. Their goal in suing is to ensure that the child’s former nanny is not able to make a profit off of the baby’s death in the form of a book deal or otherwise.
The case originally gained international attention because the nanny was originally to be prosecuted for criminal charges (murder) until the medical examiner in the case changed the official cause of death and—although not eliminating murder as a possible cause—doubt was cast as to the prosecutor’s ability to prove murder beyond a reasonable doubt. The medical examiner’s original theory was that the baby was the victim of shaken-baby syndrome, which typically involves an infant suffering from head trauma due to being excessively shaken or hit. According to the lawsuit filed, the nanny slammed the baby onto the changing table and proceeded to shake her violently to get her to stop crying, causing hemorrhaging, skeletal fractures, and brain swelling, ultimately leading to her death.
Evidence of Wrongful Death
Other evidence which emerged included “signs of violence” in the home, including some drywall missing near the changing table, indicating that it had forcibly hit the wall. Blood was also found on baby wipes, blankets, and clothes nearby.
Unlike the relevant standard in the nanny’s criminal case, the parents only need to prove that the nanny is guilty “by a preponderance of evidence.” Currently, the two sides are essentially arguing over what the medical evidence shows, and specifically, when the baby’s bone fractures occurred.
Of late, shaken-baby syndrome has become the subject of a national controversy, as the medical establishment pushes back against the attempt by some defense lawyers to argue that some have been wrongly accused of it, warning the public that it is an accurate way of identifying horrific child abuse
Wrongful Death Attorneys in Rhode Island
Losing a loved one is painful enough as it is; Losing your newborn infant is, arguably, even more difficult, especially if it was caused by someone else’s intentional or negligent acts. Fortunately, Rhode Island law allows surviving family members to bring a wrongful death claim to help the family reach closure and secure the money they need to get on with their lives. If a family member has died due to someone else’s negligent or intentional act, the Rhode Island attorneys at Dana & Dana can help. Contact us today so that we can help you.