$550,000 Settlement in Personal Injury Matter

A 4-yr old child was assaulted by a teacher at her local daycare/school.

On Sept. 19, 2017, a 4-year-old child was in her classroom at a local daycare/school she had regularly attended since she was 2 years old. Two adults, a lead teacher and a teacher’s aide, oversaw the child’s 4-year-old classroom. That afternoon, a classroom surveillance camera captured the lead teacher circling the classroom erratically, kicking chairs and roughly handling the children. The lead teacher kicked the child’s chair, shoved her head to the side, pulled the child out of her chair by her arms, placed her in the chair again and shoved the chair into the table. The teacher’s aide was in the classroom during these events. The child is shown crying after the assaults.

When the child’s mother came to pick her up that day, the child indicated that she was in pain and that something had happened in the classroom that day. The parents talked to the lead teacher, who lied about the events, stating that the child had hit her and that she accidentally fell on the child.

The parents requested to view the classroom footage but were not allowed to view the video and discover what had occurred until the end of the week. At that time, the parents saw that the teacher had mistreated their daughter, took the child out of the daycare and reported the incident to Child Protective Services. The teacher was found guilty, criminally, of assault.

During this week, the child experienced pain in her arm, bruising on her abdomen and hives outbreaks. The events traumatized her in several ways, particularly because the teacher had gaslighted her and lied about it. It impaired her trust in her parents, who had not initially believed that the teacher struck their daughter, and in authority figures (especially school staff).

After the assaults, she was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and trauma-based anxiety. She experienced hives outbreaks, nightmares, bedwetting and extreme fear and distrust of adults that affected her performance at school, requiring an IEP/504, and her social development.

Plaintiff’s experts agreed that the child’s symptoms, many still present at 10 years old, were consistent with ongoing and highly impairing PTSD resulting from trauma.

The case resolved at mediation, resulting in a $550,000 settlement.