Articles Posted in Injury to Minors

A trial in South Georgia concerning the death of a four year old boy is renewing debate over Jeep safety. Remington Walden died in the backseat of his family’s 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee when the car erupted in flames after being rear-ended at an intersection. The family’s lawyers allege that the carmaker has long been aware of the fatal defects that caused the child’s tragic and painful death, including the fuel tank placement just 11 inches from the rear bumper.

BCCN reported in October of 2009 that the Jeep Grand Cherokee fuel tank was 400% more likely to cause a fire and endanger or kill the vehicle’s occupants than other SUVs.  The Center for Auto Safety had at the time asked the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to recall all such cars made between 1993-2004, asserting that data showed that these cars were 4 times more likely to result in a fatal fire during a crash than other sport utility vehicles. The government currently links at least 70 deaths to these vehicles’ defects.

Fiat Chrysler recalled more than 1.5 million vehicles, including all 2002-2007 Jeep Liberty models as well as the ones suggested years earlier by the Center, under government pressure in June 2013. The company continues to insist that the vehicles met safety requirements at the time they were built, and that they were not defective. Sergio Marchionne, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO, stated in a deposition that the company believes that the cars are no more susceptible to fire than other SUVs.

BCCN is currently reviewing and accepting defective Jeep and SUV cases resulting in a fuel tank explosion on a nationwide basis.

Two vehicles were involved in an accident Friday evening when a pickup truck carrying four teenagers struck a stopped semi-truck off the side of Bluegrass Parkway. Witnesses stated that the pickup truck was drifting off into the left shoulder when it took a hard right into the back of the semi. The teens were returning from a basketball game across town when the accident occurred.

One of the teens was pronounced dead at the scene. A second, who had been airlifted to University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital, was pronounced dead after surgery. The driver and third passenger were taken to the hospital with serious injuries. The semi driver also was taken to the hospital as a precaution.

The Anderson County Coroner has stated that drugs and alcohol are not thought to be involved in the crash. Investigators are still trying to figure out the exact cause; while driver error is always a prime suspect, things like mechanical error and product defects should be considered and ruled out. In any event, with a serious accident such as this, a full investigation should be performed, including an accident reconstruction, in order to figure out just what went wrong. No doubt, the friends and family of the victims will have questions and want answers.

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Alexandra Bush, 17, of Grayson, Kentucky and a senior at East Carter High School, sustained fatal injuries when she was ejected from the Chevrolet Blazer she was riding in. Paige, as she was known, was a passenger in the Blazer driven by 41 year old Carmel Maggard. He and another passenger sustained severe injuries.

The wreck happened when a car traveling westbound on U.S. 60 crossed over the centerline and crashed into the Blazer. The crash sent the Blazer into a barrier wall, and then into the westbound lane of traffic where it overturned and was struck again by another car.

Although it is early on, it appears that driver error by the westbound car’s operator may be the cause of the accident. There is no indication of other causes at this time or what exactly caused the car to cross the centerline. In any event, with a serious accident such as this, a full investigation should be performed, including an accident reconstruction, in order to figure out just what went wrong. No doubt, the friends and family of the victims will have questions and want answers.

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A Louisville daycare has been shut down after two employees repeatedly struck a one-year-old girl in their care with a ruler. According to Louisville Metro Police, a security video depicts two caregivers employed by Trina’s Treehouse II, located on Cane Run Road, repeatedly striking the girl. The employees are now facing 4th degree battery charges.

The owner of Trina’s Treehouse II previously operated another facility, Trina’s Treehouse, which was shut down by authorities after a child died in her care after choking on a tack.

Victims of child abuse in Kentucky are afforded legal rights to seeks compensation for sustained injuries and suffering. Not only can the employees who perpetrated the abuse be held liable, but the daycare facility, as well. Typically such civil claims can involve allegations that the daycare negligently hired the employees, negligent trained the employees and/or negligently supervised the employees.


A child is being treated for life-threatening injuries at Kentucky Children’s Hospital after being hit by a car. The accident occurred on Auburn Drive off of Eastland Parkway in Lexington. The child was walking on Eastland Parkway when an unidentified driver of a silver Impala attempted to turn onto Auburn Drive off of Eastland Parkway. The driver struck the child, causing her to become pinned against a tree.

According to authorities, the driver claimed that she did not see the young girl on the street because the sun was in her eyes. Police continue to investigate the accident and whether drugs or alcohol were a factor in the crash.

While it has not been definitively determined what caused the accident, it is possible that the driver of the Impala was not operating due care in the operation of her vehicle. If this is the case, the family of the injured girl may have grounds to bring a civil claim against the driver.

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A 16-year-old Hopkinsville teenager was tragically killed last week when he was struck by a vehicle which backed into him. According to authorities, Charley Coker was sitting on his skateboard in a parking lot located at 700 Country Club Lane in Hopkinsville, alongside another unidentified teen. A vehicle operated by an unidentified 16-year-old backed up in the parking lot, striking Coker and the other unidentified teen. According to the police report, the driver stated he attempted to break but the car would not stop.

Coker later died from his sustained injuries. The other unidentified teenager was also injured, although the extent of his injuries in unknown at this time.

Although it appears that the driver did not intend to strike and kill Coker, it is possible the driver was operating the vehicle negligently or recklessly. If the driver did in fact operate the vehicle in a negligent or reckless manner, the surviving family of Coker may have grounds to bring a legal claim.

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A Waggener High School football player sustained a brain injury due to blows received to his head. Waggener football coach Jason Stallard and other teammates noticed Jacob Quaife, a senior at Waggener, exhibiting odd behavior on the field during a recent game. Quaife exhibited confusion about plays, unresponsiveness, and difficulty standing upright.

Quaife was subsequently rushed to Kosair Children’s Hospital where he underwent emergency brain surgery and his skull was lifted by doctors to drain the bleeding. Fortunately, Quaife’s mother reports he is on the road to recovery and making strides.

Traumatic injuries, such as the one suffered by Quaife, remind us of the high risks of injuries associated with some high school sports. Just a few weeks ago a Kentucky football recruit was killed when he neck was broken during a high school scrimmage in Georgia.

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The Pittsburgh Zoo has stated that the mother of a child tragically mauled to death by wild African dogs is the cause of her son’s death and should be barred from damages.

The child, two-year old Maddox Derkosh, was visiting the Pittsburgh Zoo with his mother, Elizabeth Derkosh on November 4, 2012. The Zoo is alleging that the boy’s mother was negligent by holding him up on a four-foot railing to get a better view of an African dog exhibit. The child tragically fell into the enclosure and autopsy reports revealed the boy was killed not by the fall, but by injuries sustained as a result of the wild dog attack.
At the time of Maddox Derkosh’s death, the exhibit had an observation deck which was only partially enclosed. Because Maddox had poor eyesight, Elizabeth lifted her son to get a better view. Elizabeth, and at least one other witness, stated that Maddox lurched forward and escaped his mother’s grasp, causing him to fall through the unprotected opening.

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The recent tragic death of University of Kentucky football recruit De’Antre Turman has raised questions of school liability when serious injury or death occurs at school events and on school grounds.

Turman, a junior at Creekside High School in Georgia, died during a football scrimmage at his high school following a tackle. Turman, who played cornerback, broke his neck upon impact.

Teachers, coaches, even bus drivers are responsible for children’s safety while in their care. Because public schools are often considered governmental entities, certain immunities are in place which protects schools from claims of negligence. Nonetheless, those responsible for students are required to act in good faith and abide by any regulations and policies in effect which are designed to keep students safe. Such regulations and policies are often enacted by state legislatures, school boards, principals and school councils.

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Another student on Maine West High School’s boys soccer team has filed a lawsuit alleging he was a victim of hazing last school year. The lawsuit was filed against Maine Township High School District 207, Maine West Principal Audrey Haugan and former soccer coaches, Michael Divincenzo and Emilio Rodriguez. The Complaint alleges the boy was forced to the ground and physically and sexually assaulted by older teammates during a September 2012 “campus run” at the school. The allegations are similar to incidents alleged in a lawsuit filed last year on behalf of other students on the boys soccer and baseball teams.

In May, Divincenzo was charged with several misdemeanors of hazing, battery and failing to report the abuse as mandated by law as both a teacher and coach. Prosecutors stated he had knowledge of the abuse occurring before and during practices for nearly four months. Divincenzo has denied the allegations.

The District’s School Board voted to terminate Divincenzo and Rodriguez in December 2012 and January 2013, respectively. Both coaches appealed the Board’s decision with the Illinois Board of Education, but Divincenzo withdrew his appeal in exchange for the district providing him with an attorney to represent him in the civil litigation over the hazing allegations.