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Minnesota Day Care Provider Sued in Baby’s Death

A day care provider is being sued for the death of a baby that was in her care.

The wrongful death lawsuit filed by the parents of the baby states that the provider was negligent and that is what led to the baby’s death.

Last February, Grant Maloney, three-months old, died while he was sleeping at his Elko day care. His death was due to asphyxiation that resulted from him rolling over onto a small pillow and this has led to the parents alleging in their suit that their son was provided a poor sleeping environment by provider Karen P. Johnson.

The suit states that Johnson violated safe sleep practices and state law when she propped up the baby with a travel-size pillow. At the time she propped the baby with the pillow, he was swaddled in a blanket. When he rolled over, he rolled onto his face, unable to change position, and died from asphyxiation.

The lawsuit further states that Johnson was negligent and breached the standard of care, thus she created a treacherous sleep environment for the baby. Susan Maloney, the mother of baby Grant, says that she is suing on behalf of her; her husband, Russell Maloney; and the rest of their family.

Johnson has not returned calls from media seeking comment and her attorney has not issued any statements.

Grant Maloney’s death is just one of eight that have occurred within Minnesota day cares this year. All eight of these deaths occurred at in-home facilities. Earlier this month, a state panel performed a review of the child-care deaths that have occurred over the past ten years and made a series of safety recommendations based on what they found.

In the report, they stated that ¾ of the 86 deaths that have occurred in the past 10 years involved infants that were sleeping. The reasons why these infants passed away in their sleep had to do with day care providers not following safety standards.

As of now, Johnson’s day care license has been revoked by the state and she is appealing that revocation. The revocation order was issued in June and said that Johnson had not followed the sleep training guidelines she had been trained to adhere to. The guidelines state that placing a swaddled baby with a pillow is a safety violation.

So far, the Maloney family has reached a partial settlement with one of the insurance companies that insures Johnson.

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