A Gwinnett County jury awarded $9.85 million to the parents of a toddler who drowned at an unlicensed daycare facility in Buford, according to CBS46 Atlanta. The child’s parents, Kemi Green and Gbolohan Bankolemoh, brought a wrongful death suit against a home daycare run by Tanya and Shawn Moon and the property owner/father of Shawn Moon, Terry Moon. The defendants were alleged to have left the plaintiffs’ daughter Abiola, 2, unsupervised near a pool on March 19, 2009 when the child fell in and drowned.
According to the plaintiffs’ attorney, the daycare owners falsely claimed that the operation was state licensed during an interview with the plaintiffs. In addition to violating daycare licensing laws, the home business also violated Gwinnett County’s pool ordinance, alleged the attorney. As of December 1, a criminal trial for Tanya Moon is pending on charges of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. The charges against her husband were dropped when it had been verified that he was elsewhere the day of the drowning.
In Georgia, a “wrongful death” is defined as a death caused by the negligence or misconduct of an individual or company. The plaintiffs, or distributees, in wrongful death cases are often spouses, children and, as in the above case, parents. Wrongful deaths can arise out of a number of situations including but not limited to criminal behavior, medical malpractice, vehicular accidents, occupational exposure to hazardous conditions or substances and death during a supervised activity.
If you believe a loved one has been lost due to a wrongful death, you may be entitled to compensation for loss of future earnings, lost benefits, emotional pain and suffering, lost companionship care and protection, expenses incurred by the death of the victim and general and punitive damages.