Four month old Logan Bryant died at a Chesterbrook Academy Dare Care center last year, and parents are now suing the Day Care and charges of neglect are being pressed upon the day care workers.
Video cameras at the day care center show Shanita Wright, one of the day care staff charged with neglect, placing Logan in a crib on his stomach to sleep, which is a violation of state safe-sleep rules. When Wright left for a lunch break, Stephanie Johnson began supervising Logan and 5 other children.
Johnson placed a washcloth over the face down baby’s head, violating another state rule, and left for another room to watch 5 other babies. The recording then shows Johnson proceed to use her cellphone and FALL ASLEEP, failing to check on the infant at all during the next hour. During the hour that Logan was face down alone in his crib, he died. At 2:30 pm, an hour after he was placed in the crib, another worker came to check on Logan, finding him with no pulse and unresponsive.
The chief Mecklenburg medical examiner, Thomas Owens, examined the body, and estimated the cause of death to be Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, otherwise known as SIDS. Researchers and medical examiners across the country have stopped calling these unexplained deaths SIDS, because in two thirds of SIDS cases, autopsies link a possibility of suffocation, which infants are especially vulnerable to whilst on their backs. According the North Carolina Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Deborah Radisch, deaths should only be attributed to SIDS “if all investigative findings and risk factors are negative.” In a letter to the Bryant family, Owens wrote “I am at least 75% sure of the diagnosis.” and that he had ruled out any other reasonable explanations.
Also, Logan was found with vomit in his throat and mouth, and Owens says that the death was likely not caused by suffocation on the vomit and that the fluids are part of the dying process: “I cannot prove nor do I believe that he smothered/suffocated in the mattress of that he choked on vomit.”
Owens also claims that the washcloth placed on the back of Logan’s head, although against state rules, “likely had little to no impact on the situation.”
Even though the medical examiner claims to be75% sure of his diagnosis, it will be up to a jury to decide whether the daycare’s negligence was the cause of baby Logan’s death.
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