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Baby's death in day care prompts Wichita wrongful death suit

The owner of a day care facility in Wichita is being sued by the parents of a boy who died while in the facility's care. The wrongful death complaint alleges the child care provider ignored the parents' instructions to keep the 5-month-old baby from sleeping face down in a soft bed.

An autopsy revealed the infant died last year of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome while at the facility. The parents claim the owner and operator of Karin's Kids - a child care center still in operation -- was guilty of negligence.

At least $75,000 in damages is being sought for the parents' loss of a loved one. The parents also created a Facebook page where visitors could sign a petition that would be forwarded to state officials. The petition asks the state to pull the day care operator's license. Almost 34,000 Facebook visitors responded positively.

The parents' wrongful death action is being litigated for free. The attorneys for the parents said the free, legal advice and representation was offered in hopes that Kansas child care laws would change.

The child's death occurred before the enactment of "Lexie's Law" in Kansas. Employee training and facility inspections were part of the measure as well as rules for child supervision and "safe-sleep practices" to prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

A Kansas state senator wants the boy's death to undergo a formal inquiry. The officials will inspect documents from the victim's parents that allegedly reveal complaints and state health violations at Karin's' Kids.

The parents' attorneys want state lawmakers to take action for increased child safety at care providers. Kansas laws do not currently force day care facilities to carry liability coverage in case of injuries and accidents.

Parents jarred by a child's death may ask a civil court for damages to cover their financial and emotional recovery from loss. Lawyers say the suit was filed to get lawmakers to take notice. This wrongful death case has already attracted thousands of Facebook followers and at least one state lawmaker's attention.

Source: kansas.com, "Parents sue Wichita day care where son died," Suzanne Perez Tobias, Nov. 15, 2012

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