Injury caused by clipping nails...

by Martin
(El Paso, Texas)

My son, who is two years of age, had his finger nails clipped by his daycare center without any consent by us, his parents. I picked him up one day to find his nails clipped to the finger tip by the daycare employee, which caused all 10 digits to bleed.

The daycare got cited for this incident by licensing. They also denied paying for medical reimbursements. The daycare policy does not mention or ask for permission to groom children. Though after the fact, the daycare did put notice to policy change. But only AFTER being cited did the daycare make the policy change.

My question is, If the daycare did get cited, are they liable for personal injury damages? What can I claim for my child's pain and suffering? Thank you.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Injury caused by clipping nails...":

Martin (El Paso, Texas):

To be entitled to medical reimbursement from the daycare center or it's insurance carrier, your son would have had to undergo medical treatment in a hospital, medical clinic, or been seen by a physician. From the facts you present, there is no evidence your son's injuries required medical treatment.

While the actions of the daycare center obviously caused your son's fingers to bleed, that action, in and of itself (and without medical treatment) is not sufficient to merit a personal injury claim against the daycare center.

While not mentioned, there must have been some reason for the daycare center employee to cut your son's nails. It would be incredulous to believe the employee cut your son's nails for amusement, or for some other baseless reason.

Instead, one needs to consider whether or not the daycare previously advised you that your son's nails were too long, and that their length might have caused injuries to other children or to the daycare center employees, or that the length of his nails was unsanitary. If that was the case, it still doesn't give the daycare center the right to cut your son's nails, but would likely have some impact on the daycare's liability.

You certainly have the right to file a claim with the daycare center's insurance carrier. However, without medical bills to support a personal injury claim, it will be difficult to convince the insurance carrier to pay your claim.

It is clear, however, that your son experienced some amount of pain and discomfort. As a result, an injury claim based only on such pain and discomfort might be merited. At a minimum, the insurance carrier might want to pay you some amount to make the claim forever disappear. This is commonly referred to as a nuisance value payout.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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