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Parents File $10 Million Lawsuit for Daycare Death

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Christine Eke4 years ago

According to CBS affiliate WRAL-TV, a four-month-old boy in Fort Braggs, North Carolina suffocated to near-death while in the care of a child care facility. After the U.S. Attorney’s Office refused to file criminal charges against the day care worker in charge of supervising the infant, the infant’s parents file a lawsuit against the U.S. Government. 

Timeline Leading up to the Infant's Death

  • The mother, Rachel Degenhard, drops off her infant son, Santino “Sonny” Degenhard, at Pope Child Development Center at about 5:30 am.
  • At about 7:30 am, the designated child care worker, Vera Grant, who was also responsible for looking after three other infants, takes Sonny to another room, where she lays him down on his stomach.
  • Grant places a blanket under Sonny at 7:16 am, then goes on the prepare the room for later activities; Sonny fusses and tries to lift his head, but no one responds.
  • At 7:24 am, Sonny kicks, and the blanket bunches up around his mouth and he stops moving.
  • At 7:26 am, a cook enters the room, notices Sonny “doesn’t look right,” but no one tends to Sonny.
  • At 7:30 am, another staff member enters the room, says Sonny “looks funny,” but still no help is administered.
  • Finally, at 7:32 am, Grant picks up Sonny and realizes he is not breathing, so she proceeds to administer CPR. A staff member calls 911.
  • Sonny was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced brain dead; after 6 days of being on life support, his parents took him off and he died.

Current Status of the Day Care Lawsuit

  • Pope Child Development Center has dismissed Grant since the incident.
  • The day care center is located on federal property.
  • The U.S. Attorney’s Office declined to press charges against Grant.
  • In response, the Degenhards have filed a lawsuit against the federal Government for wrongful death and negligent infliction of emotional distress in the amount of $10 million.
Contact an Experienced Child Injury Attorney

At Thomas J. Henry, we have the experience and resources to handle your child’s case. If negligent care played a part in your child’s serious injury or death, contact our offices. We are available 24/7, nights and weekends, and we represent clients/victims all over the country.


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