In 1999, the Florida Legislature passed Jeremy’s Law, a law that would impose an obligation on daycare providers to be truthful. Since then, numerous children have died at the hands of negligent day-care operators, and not until August 1, 2012, was a daycare operator charged with having violated the law. The law has sat idly on the books as daycare providers continue their dangerous and deceitful practices. The Miami Florida injury lawyers at our firm know the importance of keeping children safe. If your child has been injured or you have lost a child due to the negligence of a daycare provider, you may be able to receive substantial compensation and help prevent another tragedy in the future.
The Florida Legislature passed Jeremy’s Law after the death of infant Jeremy Fiedelholtz. His father, Mark Fiedelholtz, an attorney, became a public figure, speaking out against daycare providers who engaged in deceitful practices, after his son died just two hours after being dropped off for his first day at a provider’s home. His son was placed sleeping on his belly in a mesh portable crib and suffocated. Fiedelholtz spoke before Congress and the Florida legislature and was eventually able to get laws passed in New York and Florida that make it a crime for childcare operators to lie to parents or authorities. Since the legislature enacted the law, at least five children have died at the hands of negligent daycare providers, most recently on August 1, 2012.
On August 1, 2012, a four-year-old named Jordan suffocated after a daycare assistant left him in a sweltering SUV in Tamarac. Jordan was one of eight children taken on a last minute trip in order to avoid child-care regulators, who would have cited the provider for having too many children present at one time. The home-based daycare has been in trouble in the past for lying to authorities. The owner, Cecily Roberts, is charged with aggravated manslaughter and child-care misrepresentation under Jeremy’s Law. This is the first time a provider has been cited for violating the law since it was enacted in 1999. At least four other children have died in Florida between 2001 and 2011 after daycare providers left all of them in vans for an extended period of time.
Fiedelholtz said there is a gap between licensing authorities, which typically hand out citations, and law enforcement agencies, which can bring charges. This gap sends a message to providers, that you can lie to parents and authorities and only receive a citation, if anything. This has not deterred daycare operators from lying. Jeremy’s Law attempted to close that gap; however, it has seemingly been ineffective.
After a child died in 2010 in Delray Beach, state Senator Maria Lorts Sachs introduced a bill in the legislature that would require daycare operators to install a device in their vans that would set off an alarm if a child was left inside. Even insurance carriers were onboard, as it would help those companies avoid million dollar payouts when a child dies. The devices would cost a mere $80-$150. To date, this bill has not passed.
Fiedelholtz says since learning of Jordan’s death on August 1, he has not been able to sleep and he is haunted by the circumstances surrounding his son’s death.
The Miami, FL daycare negligence lawyers at our firm understand the devastation someone experiences when their child is injured or killed. If you or someone you know has a child who has been injured or has died due to a negligent daycare provider, contact a Miami personal injury lawyer at Hannon Legal Group today or call (866) 835-6872 to discuss your rights.