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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A stunning verdict in Dallas County Thursday – more than $142 million for parents whose baby died at a Dallas day care.
The parents said they know they will never see any of the money, but that’s not important. What is important, is change.
In April 2014, 7-month-old Roger Lytle went to day care and never came home. The owner of All In The Family Child Care Services allegedly swaddled Roger and left him on his side on an adult bed for hours. He rolled over and suffocated.
“He was a beautiful life and he was alive, and one day he wasn’t alive,” said mother Heather Lytle.
Today, more than two years later, a jury in the civil negligence case awarded the Lytles $142 million – more than 20 times what their attorneys asked.
“I had tears well up in my eyes because it was such a powerful statement by the jury. They wanted to say something here, and they did, ” said attorney Rob Crain.
The Lytles hope that message invokes change at the legislature. All In The Family is a home daycare, licensed but not insured, as allowed by state law.
“We’d like to see stronger regulations of daycares, starting with an insurance requirement. I think that’d be a first good step,” said father Zac Lytle.
They believe requiring insurance would improve accountability and protect families whose children are injured.
“What we’ve gained from the trial is the peace of mind of knowing there’s been accountability, but it would be great if other people could gain something in the fact that their children would be safer at day care in the future,” said Heather Lytle.
The daycare has not been in operation since the death, and their phone is disconnected. The defense attorney declined to comment after the verdict. The Dallas Police Department said the baby’s death was ruled accidental.
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