Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Tuesday, May 19th, 2015 - Houston Texas - A lawsuit was filed Tuesday afternoon on behalf of a grieving family whose infant daughter was found unconscious at a Day Care center in Texas City. On Monday, May 11th, Texas City emergency medical personnel were called to the home of Derrell and Divina Archie, who operate a home-based day care center on the 5100 block of Burr Oak Lane. Emergency crews found 3 month old Amani Ball of La Marque unconscious and not breathing. She was taken to Mainland Medical Center in Texas City and then transported to The University of Texas Medical Branch’s John Sealy Hospital. Efforts to resuscitate failed and Amani was pronounced dead at the hospital on Wednesday.
Amani's parents, Demisia & Anthony Ball, are being represented by the law firm of Brent Coon and Associates (BCA). The lawsuit, filed against the home day care center and operators, allege not only negligence but gross negligence by the facility. Since 2013, the home day care center operated by the Archie's was inspected three times and was cited six times for violations. Attorney Brent Coon stated, "There are many more questions that need to be answered regarding this tragedy, including the safety precautions in place, the mandatory requirements of these types of facilities and the role of Child Protective Services. There were inadequate or non-existent audio and video monitoring devices on site, there were no cribs for infants in their care, and supervision was grossly inadequate. Amani may have been struggling for over an hour before she was even found on the floor unconscious. This pathetic level of child care was unconscionable and the facility should be immediately closed”.
Brent Coon & Associates prides itself on being a public policy law firm. “Our first and foremost responsibility is to our clients and assisting them through the intimidating and emotionally charged legal process” says BCA founder Brent Coon. “But I’ve always felt that our firm has a responsibility to the public as well. Sometimes it’s not enough to simply get a satisfactory result for your client. We also strive to use our position and involvement to influence meaningful change in public policy and industry-specific safety standards to help make our community and our country a safer place for our citizens to live and work, and in this case, a safer place for our children.”
In addition to the lawsuit filed on behalf Amani Ball's family, BCA is calling for increased regulations for home day care centers. Between 2004 and 2007, 49 children in Texas died in unregulated day care centers. In addition to increased regulations, child day care centers should require more intensive health and safety training for licensed, license - exempt and unlicensed child care providers. Federal and state based requirements should be systematically in place for reporting child fatalities in all types of child care situations. The home based child care industry is particularly vulnerable. Studies attribute over 1,000 of the 1,300 reported child fatalities in child care facilities from 1985 to 2003 to home based care facilities, which generally operate with less standardized oversight and regulation.