Following the death of an infant, Mother Goose Daycare in Oxford, Mississippi was recently hit with a wrongful death lawsuit.
When most parents leave their children in the care of a daycare provider, there is a certain level of expectation that their children will be well cared for. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, and as a result, lawsuits are filed. For example, the parents of a 9-week-old baby recently filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Mother Goose Daycare in Oxford, Mississippi after the child died in the daycare’s care last November. The suit names the facility, administrative staff, and the daycare owners as defendants in the suit.
Shortly after the incident, Amy Rogers, a staff member at the daycare, was arrested and charged with manslaughter. Additionally, the Mississippi State Department of Health “ordered Mother Goose Daycare to stop caring for infants.”
What happened, though? Well, according to the suit, Rogers, “owners Mike and Alicia Valle, executive director Renee Hoover, assistant executive director Susan McCollum and 10 John Does caused or contributed to the death of the baby.” The suit further notes that the baby was “one of four in Rogers’ infant classroom Nov. 17, 2020.” According to video footage obtained during the investigation, Rogers “swaddled the infant and left her face down on the floor for 35 minutes.” The video also showed the infant “kicking its legs up and down within the tight swaddle but unable to roll over or lift her head.” That went on for 18 minutes – 18 minutes of the baby struggling before she lost consciousness. During that time, Rogers was talking to other staff members and played on her phone before she finally found the “baby unconscious with her face bloody from hemorrhaging during suffocation.”
From there, Rogers panicked and ran from the room with the baby and was met by other staff members. One of those workers began CPR and another called 911. There was also a parent there, who happened to be a doctor, picking up their own child. After administering CPR, the parent said the baby “needed immediate intubation.” About 10 minutes later, paramedics showed up and tried to revive the baby. However, “they recognized the baby suffered cardiac arrest before their arrival,” according to the suit. Nonetheless, the baby was rushed to the emergency room. When she arrived, “her skin was cool to the touch and she had no pulse.” From there, she was flown to Le Bonheur and placed on a ventilator.
During all of that, the baby’s father received a call from the daycare asking for a status report on the infant. When he asked what had happened, the daycare refused to tell him.
Tragically, the next day, doctors “determined the next day the infant suffered an anoxic brain injury due to oxygen deprivation and she would not be able to recover…She died that afternoon at 9 weeks and 4 days old.”
According to the lawsuit, Roger’s had a history of complaints from parents regarding the care she was providing children. In January 2019, a family “withdrew their 3-month-old son…after five and a half days after reportedly witnessing her ‘inattentiveness’ and ‘dangerous sleep practices.’”
The recent suit also noted that Mother Goose was initially cooperative with the police investigation and even allowed Rogers to continue working. However, when she was arrested for manslaughter, she was terminated. Now, the suit alleges the daycare is no longer cooperating with the investigation. During that investigation, Mississippi state health officers determined the facility was a “substantial hazard to the health and safety of infants.” The health officers also found at least eight violations in the infant classroom, including the following, according to the suit:
- leaving children unattended
- using physical force to require children to lie down or go to sleep
- creating an unsafe sleep environment by placing infants on their stomachs to sleep and not regularly checking on them while asleep
- using cribs, car seats, and high chairs for purposes other than their primary purpose so infants are prohibited from creeping, crawling, toddling, and walking
- failing to frequently change the place and position of infants who are unable to move about the room
- failing to place a child on a “firm” and “flame retardant” mat while sleeping
- failing to move children to an individual crib instead of sleeping in a shared space
- using corporal punishment, including hitting, spanking, beating, shaking, pinching, biting, and other measures that produce physical pain
- keeping a clean, separate, and sanitary diaper changing area that is not used for any other task
- failing to hold an infant while they are being fed a bottle