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Sexual Abuse Lawsuit Against Oklahoma School Allowed to Continue

 

A federal judge has refused to dismiss a lawsuit alleging that officials at an Oklahoma school did nothing to stop sexual attacks against a middle school student.

About the Oklahoma Sexual Assault Ruling

Monday’s ruling allows the lawsuit against Washington Public Schools to continue forward. The judge, Stephen Friot, did, however, remove from the lawsuit school Superintendent A.J. Brewer and Principal Stuart McPherson in their official capacities.

According to the Seattle Times, the attorney for the school and the two officials did not immediately return a phone call for comment.

The suit alleges that school officials did nothing to stop the attacks against a student, 11 at the time the abuse began, during an eighteen month period that began with shoving and escalated into sexual assault.

What to Do If You Suspect a Child is Being Sexually Abused?

Child sexual abuse is a crime that often goes undetected. You have the power to make a positive difference in a child’s life. Here are some tips to follow if you suspect a child is being abused:

  1. Recognize the signs, both physical and behavioral:
    • Behavioral signs: Shrinking away from or seeming threatened by physical contact, regressive behaviors like thumb sucking, changing hygiene routines such as refusing to bathe or bathing excessively, age-inappropriate sexual behaviors, sleep disturbances, or nightmares
    • Physical signs: Bruising or swelling near the genital area, blood on sheets or undergarments, or broken bones
    • Verbal cues: Using words or phrases that are “too adult” for their age, unexplained silence, or suddenly being less talkative
  2. Talk to the child:
    • Choose a safe space away from the person you may suspect of causing the abuse. Speak to the child in a casual, non-threatening tone to keep the child at ease. Talk to the child directly, using words that the child will understand. Avoid judgmental statements and questions and avoid blaming the child. Be reassuring to the child and let them know that you are concerned for them.
  3. Report it to authorities:
    • Before reporting, tell the child you are going to talk to someone else who can help. Make sure the child is in a safe place, and if you are concerned about the child’s safety, be sure to let the authorities know. If you are not concerned that the parents are the ones causing harm, consult with them prior to reporting to authorities.

Contact an Experienced Child Abuse Attorney

If you believe that your child has been the victim of sexual abuse, contact Thomas J. Henry. For over two decades, Thomas J. Henry has been an advocate for sexually abused children across the state of Texas. Our experienced child injury lawyers are available 24/7, nights and weekends to take your call. Contact us today for a free legal consultation.

Sexual Abuse Lawsuit Filed Against Boy Scouts Chapter in Arkansas

A man is suing the central Arkansas chapter of the Boy Scouts of America on the claims of sexual abuse and negligence.

Details of the Lawsuit and Alleged Sexual Abuse

In a lawsuit filed on Wednesday, a man accused a leader of Boy Scouts Troop 16 and Webelos Unit 13 in Hot Springs of sexually abusing him on eight different occasions between 1979 and 1980. The plaintiff was between the ages of 10 and 12 at the time of the abuse.

The scout leader at the time of the abuse, who was in his mid-40s, was not listed as the defendant in the lawsuit.

However, the Quapaw Area Council, which oversees the entire region of Boy Scout groups, is listed as the defendant in the lawsuit. The lawsuit accuses the council of allowing the scout leader to volunteer even though they knew he had been accused of sexually abusing another young boy in Georgia.

After learning that the scout leader had sexually abused the plaintiff, the Quapaw Area Council had allegedly covered up the abuse by telling the plaintiff to not tell his family and by “facilitating and encouraging the payment of a severance for [the scout leader] to help ensure that information about his abuse of boys was kept secret,” the lawsuit states.

According to the lawsuit, the council did not report the abuse to law enforcement. The lawsuit also says that the purported abuse in Hot Springs is part of a systemic problem in the Boy Scouts of America. The organization has “aggressively marketed the wholesomeness and safety of its programs” but concealed “certain knowledge that pedophiles had been infiltrating [Boy Scouts groups] in large numbers for many years,” the lawsuit says.

The plaintiff has accused the council of negligence and fraudulent concealment. He has requested a jury trial and is seeking compensatory damages for years of “emotional distress and mental anguish.”

What Do I Do If I Suspect a Child Is Being Abused?

Child sexual abuse is a crime that often goes undetected. You have the power to make an enormous, positive difference in a child’s life. Here are steps to take if you think a child is a victim of sexual abuse:

  1. Recognize the signs, both physical and behavioral (see the list above)
  2. Talk to the child
    • Choose a safe space away from the person you may suspect of causing the abuse.
    • Speak to the child in a casual, non-threatening tone to keep the child at ease.
    • Talk to the child directly, using words that the child will understand.
    • Avoid judgmental statements and questions and avoid blaming the child.
    • Be reassuring to the child and let them know that you are concerned for them.
  3. Report it to authorities
    • Before reporting, tell the child you are going to talk to someone else who can help.
    • Make sure the child is in a safe place, and if you are concerned about the child’s safety, be sure to let the authorities know.
    • If you are not concerned that the parents are the ones causing harm, consult with them prior to reporting to authorities.

Suing Child Molesters in Civil Court

As is the case with many crimes, those responsible for child sex abuse can be tried in both criminal and civil court. In criminal court, they may be sentenced to jail time, prison time, or probation. In civil court, they can be sued for damages caused by their actions. Damages for sexual abuse cases may include:

  • Personal injury
  • Lost income and other financial losses
  • Past and future trauma and emotional distress
  • Past and future medical, counseling, and psychiatric bills
  • False imprisonment
  • Assault and battery
  • Exploitation
  • Loss of consortium
  • Punitive damages

Contact an Experienced Child Injury Attorney

If you believe that your child has been the victim of sexual abuse, contact Thomas J. Henry. For over two decades, Thomas J. Henry has been an advocate for sexually abused children across the state of Texas. Our experienced child injury lawyers are available 24/7, nights and weekends to take your call. Contact us today for a free legal consultation.

9-Year-Old Injured After Bounce House Blown onto Highway, Struck by Car

A 9-year-old boy came terribly close to tragedy after the bounce house he was in was sent airborne by strong winds before landing on a California highway where the boy was struck by a car.

About the Bounce House Accident

According to NBC News, the boy was at a party in a residential neighborhood in Adelanto, California, north of San Bernadino, on Saturday when the bounce house he was in was carried away by strong winds.

The bounce house was carried roughly a quarter mile before it landed on Highway 395 where the boy fell out and was struck by a car. The child survived the incident but did sustain injuries.

The incident remains under investigation.

Bounce House Incident Demonstrates a Larger Issue

This latest incident has brought the bounce houses back into the spotlight following a series of similar incidents over the past few years.

In 2014, two New York boys were thrown from a bounce house that had been carried 20 feet in the air by strong winds. One boy, 5, struck his head on a parked car after he fell from the airborne bounce house. The second boy, 6, fell to the street and suffered broken bones.

In an incident that occurred in Greenville, South Carolina last year, five children were injured when a gust of wind blew a bounce house into the air at a church carnival.

Experts remind consumers that bounce houses should be anchored with stakes that are at least 18 inches long and hammered at a 45-degree angle into the ground. Alternatively, if on concrete, sand bags should be used to weigh down the bounce house.

If winds exceed 15 miles per hour, no one should be allowed inside the inflatable structure.

Contact an Experienced Child Injury Attorney

If your child has been injured in an accident, contact Thomas J. Henry. Children are vulnerable to injury, especially when negligent individuals and property owners put their safety in jeopardy. Automobile accidents, unsafe premises, medical malpractice, and defective toys can all cause severe harm to our children.

When your child suffers from a severe injury, you need a law firm with experienced injury attorneys and the legal resources to win your case. Thomas J. Henry has experience representing clients from across the nation in various types of accidents and obtaining record-breaking, real results.

Contact us today for a free legal consultation. Our firm has offices in Corpus ChristiSan AntonioAustin, and Houston, serving clients across Texas and nationwide.

Texas Leads Nation in Hot-Car Child Deaths

According to experts, hot-car deaths claim the lives of 37 children every year. Texas currently leads the nation in hot-car child deaths.

Texas Accounts for 15% of Hot-Car Child Deaths

According to a report from Patch, 837 children under the age of 14 died in hot-cars between 1990 and 2017. 120 of those deaths, or just under 15% of the total number of deaths reported, occurred in Texas, which led the nation in hot-car child deaths.

Texas was followed by Florida, which recorded 89 deaths between 1990 and 2017, and only two states reported no child deaths due to vehicular heat stroke: Alaska and Vermont.

While many would attribute Texas’ abnormally high hot-car death rate to the states high population, experts noted that Texas still ranks high when looking at hot-car deaths on a per capita basis.

Experts also noted that outside temperature does not necessarily prevent hot-car deaths, with one test showing inside car temperatures climbing to more than 105 degrees within an hour of a car being shut off in an area with an outdoor temperature of 61 degrees. On warmer days, it can take as little as ten minutes for deadly interior temperatures to occur.

NHTSA Tips on Preventing Hot-Car Deaths

  • Look Before You Leave: If you have a child, get into the routine of always checking the back seats of your vehicle before you lock it and walk away.
  • Leave Yourself a Reminder: Take simple steps to remind yourself to check your car before leaving. One habit can be keeping a stuffed toy or other momento in your child’s car seat, then moving it to the front seat as a visual reminder when the baby is in the back seat. Another option is placing your phone, briefcase, or purse in the back seat when traveling with your child.
  • Conduct Routine Call-In Checks: If someone else is driving your child, or your daily routine has been altered, make a call to make sure the child arrived safely at the destination.
  • Keep Your Keys Out of Your Child’s Reach: Nearly three in 10 heatstroke deaths happen when an unattended child gains access to a vehicle. Keep your keys well out of reach of small children.

Contact an Experienced Child Injury Attorney

If your child has been injured in an accident, contact Thomas J. Henry. Children are vulnerable to injury, especially when negligent individuals and property owners put their safety in jeopardy. Automobile accidents, unsafe premises, medical malpractice, and defective toys can all cause severe harm to our children.

When your child suffers from a severe injury, you need a law firm with experienced injury attorneys and the legal resources to win your case. Thomas J. Henry has experience representing clients from across the nation in various types of accidents and obtaining record-breaking, real results.

Contact us today for a free legal consultation. Our firm has offices in Corpus ChristiSan Antonio, Austin, and Houston, serving clients across Texas and nationwide.

 

Harmony Juvenile Products Recalls 150,000 Car Booster Seats

Harmony Juvenile Products has issued a nationwide recall for 150,000 Big Boost Deluxe seats after determining the products pose a injury hazard to children.

Details of the Recalled Harmony Juvenile Products Booster Seats

According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) documents, the booster seats’ belts can cause excessive force to be applied to the chest of children in the event of a collision, resulting in an increased risk of injury.

NHTSA also notes that, due to this defect, the booster seats fail to comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard requirements.

A fix for the defective car seats is still under development, and Harmony Juvenile Products has not yet provided a notification schedule to federal regulators.

Tips for Preventing Car Seat Failures and Injuries

While not all car seat-related injuries can be prevented, taking a proactive approach to your child’s safety can greatly reduce the risk of car seat failure.

  • Register your car seat. Car seats come with a registration card that can be filled out and submitted with no postage required. In the event of a recall, you will be notified by the manufacturer similar to an auto recall.
  • Have your car seat checked. Many city fire departments and non-profits host free car seat checks. If you are expecting or if you already have your little one, take a few minutes to visit a car seat check location to ensure you car seat is installed correctly and recall free.
  • Do not alter or add items to your child’s car seat. Car seats undergo strict testing to ensure they are safe for children. When you add or remove items from a car seat, you could be making the car seat less effective and creating new hazards for your child.
  • Do NOT reuse a car seat that has been in an accident. Like air bags, car seats are good for ONE collision. You should never use a car seat that has been involved in a previous accident, even if it appears to be in “like new” condition.
  • Keep informed. Even if you filled out a car seat registration car, check for recalls regularly. Having extra information can only benefit you.

Contact an Experienced Car Seat Failure Attorney

Thomas J. Henry Injury Attorneys are experienced in defective child car seats and recalls. Your choice does matter. If your child has suffered because of a defective car seat, contact Thomas J. Henry Injury Attorneys immediately. We are available 24/7, nights and weekends.

Omaha Daycare Worker Arrested After Video Shows Abuse

A 58-year-old woman was arrested on charges of child abuse after a video showed the daycare worker hitting a 4-year-old child on the head.

About the Daycare Abuse

NBC-2 reports that the video shows the woman sitting across from a little girl at a table when she gets angry and hits the child on the head several times. The woman then punches the girl’s left arm.

The girl begins crying and says “that hurt me,” and the worker responds, “Good, I hope it hurt you” before shaking the girl violently.

Police identified the daycare worker in the video as Lynn Rowe. Rowe was arrested Thursday night in Missouri Valley, Iowa and is currently awaiting extradition back to Nebraska.

A former employee at the daycare had filmed the incident on March 28 and sent the video to the child’s mother on April 2.

Daycare Injury Statistics

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, at least six out of ten — nearly 13 million — infants, toddlers and preschool children are enrolled in daycare. These centers are supposed to be providing substitute care for your children, but sadly we find that sometimes they may cause more harm than good.

  • According to the CPSC, approximately 31,000 children under age 4 are treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms for injuries at child care settings on average.
  • 8% of the child care settings had cribs that did not meet current safety standards.
  • 24% of the child care settings did not have safe playground surfacing.
  • 13% of the child care settings did not use child safety gates where necessary.
  • 26% of the child care settings had loops on the window blind cords.
  • 5% of the child care settings had products that had been recalled by CPSC.

Contact an Experienced Daycare Injury Attorney

If your child has been injured after an accident or abuse at a daycare center, contact Thomas J. Henry. Parents put their trust in the staff of a daycare facility to keep their children safe and out of harm’s way. It is unacceptable for a child to be subjected to abuse or an unsafe premises while in their care. If your child was seriously injured due to the negligence or abusive actions of daycare staff, call our experienced child injury attorneys today. Thomas J. Henry has the legal and financial resources necessary to develop your child’s case properly. Call for a free case review.

Police Investigate Beating of 1-Year-Old at Indiana Daycare

Toddler smiling and teething on a toy

Indianapolis police have launched an investigation into the beating and possible abuse of a 1-year-old at a daycare.

Child Hospitalized with Significant Facial Injuries

According to KTXS, the investigation began after the boy’s mother, Tiffany Griffin, was summoned to the daycare Monday afternoon. She arrived to find her son’s face bloodied, scratched, and swollen. The boy’s injuries were so severe that he was hospitalized.

The owner of Kiddiegarden day care, Haben Ghebremichael, told the press that a 2-year-old girl had attacked the boy. Ghebremichael said a worker was able to separate the children, but by that time the child had already been injured.

The daycare is currently closed and it is unclear if or when it will reopen.

Daycare Injury Statistics

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, at least six out of ten — nearly 13 million — infants, toddlers and preschool children are enrolled in daycare. These centers are supposed to be providing substitute care for your children, but sadly we find that sometimes they may cause more harm than good.

  • According to the CPSC, approximately 31,000 children under age 4 are treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms for injuries at child care settings on average.
  • 8% of the child care settings had cribs that did not meet current safety standards.
  • 24% of the child care settings did not have safe playground surfacing.
  • 13% of the child care settings did not use child safety gates where necessary.
  • 26% of the child care settings had loops on the window blind cords.
  • 5% of the child care settings had products that had been recalled by CPSC..

Questions to Ask Your Daycare Provider

  • Are children supervised at all times including while sleeping?
  • Do the materials and product used adhere to current safety standards?
  • Is the playground equipment checked for safety compliance regularly?
  • Do signs and teachers promote a positive environment?
  • Does the staff have current first aid and CPR training?

Contact an Experienced Daycare Injury Attorney

If your child has been injured after an accident or abuse at a daycare center, contact Thomas J. Henry. Parents put their trust in the staff of a daycare facility to keep their children safe and out of harm’s way. It is unacceptable for a child to be subjected to abuse or an unsafe premises while in their care. If your child was seriously injured due to the negligence or abusive actions of daycare staff, call our experienced child injury attorneys today. Thomas J. Henry has the legal and financial resources necessary to develop your child’s case properly. Call for a free case review.

10-Year-Old Run Over by School Bus in Freak Accident

A 10-year-old boy was killed in Poplar Bluff, Missouri on Friday in a tragic school bus accident.

About the Fatal School Bus Accident

According to reports, the 10-year-old middle school student, identified as Zjequalin Cody, missed his bus and was running after it when he tripped and fell under the vehicle’s wheels. The boy died of blunt force trauma.

The school bus driver told investigators he was not aware that the child was chasing the bus. Another driver witnessed the accident and called 911.

A crash team is performing a mechanical inspection of the bus, and a crises center has been established at the middle school to assist grieving students and parents.

School Transportation Accident Statistics

  • According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 1,344 people killed in school-transportation-related crashes recorded between 2004 and 2013. This averages to 134 fatalities per year.
  • Of the 1,344 fatalities, only 8 percent were occupants of school transportation vehicles.
  • Most (71%) of the people who lost their lives in these crashes were occupants of other vehicles involved in the crashes.
  • Nonoccupants, including pedestrians, bicyclists, etc., accounted for 21 percent of the fatalities.
  • Among the 106 occupants killed in school transportation vehicles between 2004 and 2013, 45 were drivers and 61 were passengers.

Contact an Experienced School Bus Accident Attorney

At Thomas J. Henry Injury Attorneys, we have the experience and resources to handle your child’s case. If your child has been injured in a school bus accident, contact our offices. Our experienced bus accident lawyers are available 24/7, nights and weekends, and can provide you with a free case review.

Daycare Provider Charged in Death of Infant

An Iowa City daycare provider has been charged in the death of a 7-month-old child that was found unresponsive at the daycare and later passed away.

Provider Intoxicated While Watching Children

According to KCRG, Windy Young was acting as a daycare provider for children between the ages of 7-months and 3-years-old. On October 18, 2017, a 7-month-old in Young’s care was found unresponsive and was pronounced dead at a hospital.

Court records state that Young admitted to having 10 to 12 cans of beer before her initial daycare arrival. Records also say alcohol was found in Young’s system more than eight hours after she started watching the children.

Young was arrested on April 18, 2018 and has been charged with Negligent or Abandonment of a Dependent Person.

Daycare Injury Statistics

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, at least six out of ten — nearly 13 million — infants, toddlers and preschool children are enrolled in daycare. These centers are supposed to be providing substitute care for your children, but sadly we find that sometimes they may cause more harm than good.

  • According to the CPSC, approximately 31,000 children under age 4 are treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms for injuries at child care settings on average.
  • 8% of the child care settings had cribs that did not meet current safety standards.
  • 24% of the child care settings did not have safe playground surfacing.
  • 13% of the child care settings did not use child safety gates where necessary.
  • 26% of the child care settings had loops on the window blind cords.
  • 5% of the child care settings had products that had been recalled by CPSC.

Contact an Experienced Daycare Injury Attorney

If your child has been injured after an accident or abuse at a daycare center, contact Thomas J. Henry. Parents put their trust in the staff of a daycare facility to keep their children safe and out of harm’s way. It is unacceptable for a child to be subjected to abuse or an unsafe premises while in their care. If your child was seriously injured due to the negligence or abusive actions of daycare staff, call our experienced child injury attorneys today. Thomas J. Henry has the legal and financial resources necessary to develop your child’s case properly. Call for a free case review.

25 Children Hurt After Dump Truck Rear-Ends Texas School Bus

More than two dozen children and adult chaperones were taken to Houston-area hospitals Wednesday following a traffic collision involving two school buses and a dump truck.

Early Reports Suggest Dump Truck Rear-Ended One of the School Buses

According to KWTX, the collision occurred when a dump truck rear-ended a Navasota Independent School District school bus. The impact from the initial collision caused the first bus to collide with a second school bus from the same school district.

Police say 25 students and five adults were transported to nearby hospitals with various injuries.

The two school buses were part of a three bus fleet transporting elementary school students to a Houston museum. Early reports indicate all the injured students were fifth-graders.

Police are still investigating the accident.

School Transportation Accident Statistics

  • According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 1,344 people killed in school-transportation-related crashes recorded between 2004 and 2013. This averages to 134 fatalities per year.
  • Of the 1,344 fatalities, only 8 percent were occupants of school transportation vehicles.
  • Most (71%) of the people who lost their lives in these crashes were occupants of other vehicles involved in the crashes.
  • Nonoccupants, including pedestrians, bicyclists, etc., accounted for 21 percent of the fatalities.
  • Among the 106 occupants killed in school transportation vehicles between 2004 and 2013, 45 were drivers and 61 were passengers.

Contact an Experienced School Bus Accident Attorney

At Thomas J. Henry Injury Attorneys, we have the experience and resources to handle your child’s case. If your child has been injured in a school bus accident, contact our offices. Our experienced bus accident lawyers are available 24/7, nights and weekends, and can provide you with a free case review.

 

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