Visitor Question

Can I be sued for a business I no longer own after I was cleared in the initial investigation?

Submitted By: Catherine (San Antonio, Texas)

I run a Texas-State licensed day care from my home. While changing a nine month old’s diaper, she fell back and hit her head. Long story short, the mother didn’t think it was necessary to go to the ER that day, but changed her mind the next morning. After a lengthy investigation, I was found to have “had no role” in the child’s injury and was cleared by the board. This was almost a year ago.

Two days ago I was served with paperwork informing me that I am being sued in civil court for “allegations of negligence, the trauma suffered from this incident (pain and suffering), and physical damage for now and the future.” More specifically, the mother is saying I was not registered by the state, didn’t hire qualified teachers, did not deliver a promised quality program, spoilage of food, etc.

Do they still have a case? I have since sold my home and am no longer running this business because I was close to my graduate school completion. I no longer carry insurance since I don’t run the business anymore, and feel they had the opportunity to recover damages during time of the investigation. Can they sue me for a business I no longer run after I was cleared in the initial investigation?

Thank you

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Catherine,

The Texas Department of Health and Human Services is the agency which oversees day care businesses in the State of Texas. You can read more about daycare licensing and regulations by going to their website.

Unless the parents of the child signed a release before the time of the injury, you may be exposed to a civil claim for damages. In civil personal injury claims, damages can include medical bills, out of pocket expenses for items such as medications, crutches, slings, wheelchairs, costs of travel to and from treatment, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

The statute of limitations in the State of Texas for personal injury claims is 2 years. This means a person seeking damages for a personal injury must either settle their claim, or file a lawsuit within 2 years from the date of the injury. Failing to do so within that period bars a victim from further pursuit of a personal injury claim.

If you were insured at the time of the alleged injury, immediately contact your insurance company and inform them of the lawsuit. It is highly likely that your policy included providing you with an attorney at no cost to represent you in damage claims. Moreover, if your business was incorporated at the time of the injury, you may be personally insulated from the lawsuit.

In the event you did not carry insurance at the time of the injury, and do not have the protection a corporation offers, promptly seek the advice and counsel of an attorney.

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

Best of luck,

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