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Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C.

Negligent Supervision of Child Settlement

Case Type: Negligent Supervision of Child Settlement

Settlement: $70,000.00

Plaintiff: Jessica Hardy, as Next Friend of Konnor Baker, a minor
Defendant: Allen Swartzmiller
Case Number: 15-K-19857-NO
Judge: Judge Suzanne Kreeger
Location: Montcalm County Circuit Court
Date of Settlement: August 2, 2017

Facts of the Case

Our client dropped her 20-month-old son off at her parents' house to babysit him while she was at work. While babysitting, the grandfather took the child with him on a tractor while mowing the lawn.

The grandfather left the child unattended on the tractor while he went to get a part for the tractor from his truck parked on the side of the house. While unattended, the child wandered off and fell into the neighbors' man-made pond in the backyard.

Types of Injuries and Harm Suffered

  • Anoxic Encephalopathy

Other Types of Damages

  • Pain and suffering
  • Psychological and cognitive damages
  • Medical expenses

Legal Issues in the Case

  • How long did the grandfather leave the child unattended?
  • Was the grandfather aware of the pond in the neighbor's backyard?
  • Did the child have any psychological and cognitive issues prior to the incident?
  • What were the injuries and damages caused by the near drowning in the pond?
  • How much compensation should be paid in a settlement?

What We Did to Win the Settlement

Our lawyers filed a lawsuit in the Montcalm County Circuit. We also took depositions of our client (the child's mother), the defendant grandfather and his wife, the neighbors who owned the pond, and the investigating officer. 

Their testimony did not definitively answer how long the child was left unattended, but offered proof that the defendant either was aware or should have been aware of the existence of the pond on the neighbor's property. 

However, our client testified that despite her allegations of negligence, she continued to allow the child to be babysat by her parents subsequent to the incident.

The child suffered serious cognitive injuries in the incident. He underwent months of sessions of speech and language therapy and applied behavior sessions.

Our lawyers also discovered insurance policy information. A panel of case evaluators placed a value of $5,000.00 on the case. However, we proceeded forward and attended facilitation, and we were able to negotiate a settlement of $70,000.00 for our client. The settlement included compensation for his pain and suffering and payment of medical bills.

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$70,000: Michigan Negligent Supervision of Child

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