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Babysitting Liability

Settlement:   Bell, Jr. and Laura Oden-Bell v. Joann Dellacave and Patricia and Paul Krill 12865/96
Case #:   XV/43-46
Date:   Thursday, September 11, 1997
Court:   Nassau Supreme
Plaintiff Attorney:   Anthony T. Ballato, Massapequa
Plaintiff Expert:   Dr. Thuy Nguyen, plastic surgeon, Stony Brook
Facts:   This action settled before trial for $64,000. On 5/4/93 Pltf., age 3 at the time, was injured while under the care of Deft. Dellacave, his babysitter. Dellacave brought Pltf. to Deft. Krill s home in Levittown where he was struck in the face by a swing set while it was being used by Krill s son. Pltf. claimed that the swing set was defective and had exposed metal pipes and that Defts. failed to supervise him. Pltfs. claimed that Deft. Krill had assumed the child s care without their knowledge or consent.

Deft. denied that the swing set was broken on the date of the accident, and argued that it had become defective after the incident. Deft. Dellacave s homeowner s carrier had initially disclaimed coverage due to babysitting for a fee.

Injuries: 2-cm facial scar to the left cheek. Offer: $20,000; demand : $125,000. Settlement apportionment: $21,000 was paid by Dellacave; $43, 000 was paid by Krill. Carriers: John Hancock/Fireman s Fund for Dellacave; Allstate for Krill.

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