$400,000: Unsupervised Child Is Accidentally Strangled By Jump Rope Resulting In Brain Injury

CASE DESCRIPTION: A four-year-old went unsupervised on the premises of her day care playground.  While on a slide she became entangled in a jump rope leading to her strangulation.  Plaintiff brought suit against the child-care center for premise liability and negligence.

RESULT:  $400,000.00 total settlement

Defendant L’s Children Center provided day care services to four-year-old Plaintiff Catherine G.  Plaintiff went out onto the playground to play, and tried to slide down the slipper slide when she became entangled in a jump rope that was attached to the slipper slide.  No employee of L’s Children Center was in the area to observe Plaintiff at that time.  Another, older, child discovered Plaintiff on the slipper slide with the jump rope wrapped around her neck, not breathing and turning blue.  The older child alerted employees of L’s Children Center, who rushed to take Plaintiff down from the slipper slide.  They removed the rope from around her neck and called emergency services.  Plaintiff Catherine G. suffered an anoxic injury to her brain resulting in slight left-sided weakness and minor executive processing deficits.

Plaintiff contended that preschool aged children should not be allowed to climb on the slide while having jump ropes on the play structure.  Plaintiff also contended that Defendant did not have the appropriate teacher to children ratio on the playground, and were also intermingling school age children with preschool age children.  Further the teachers were not visually observing Plaintiff at the time of her injury, in violation of state law and could not have been observing Plaintiff from where they were standing in relation to where she was within the slide.

TYPE OF CASE:  Premises Liability

INJURIES:  Anoxic injury to her brain resulting in slight left-sided weakness and minor executive processing deficits.

DATE & LOCATION OF INCIDENT:  On 9/29/00 in the City of Danville, California.

PLAINTIFF’S AGE:  4 at the time of the incident.


Richard A. Cohn
For Plaintiff – Catherine G., a minor, by and through his Guardian ad Litem Mrs. G.

Collette Stone & Steve Anderson
For Defendant – Jody L., L’s Children Center & Brian R.