Family Of Infant Who Died At Daycare Plans Lawsuit

By: Matt Howerton Email
By: Matt Howerton Email
The family of an infant who died of an overdose of allergy medication that authorities say was administered at a daycare is planning a lawsuit to try to force a change in state regulations.

Clara Marguerite Felton (Courtesy photo)

WACO (August 11, 2013) -- A civil lawsuit will be filed against a Waco daycare after its owner was charged with injury to a child (causing death) following the death of an infant from an overdose of Benadryl.

As of Sunday, Police were actively looking for Spoiled Rotten Daycare’s owner, Marian Bergman Fraser.

Fraser, 49, who was initially named in an arrest warrant stemming from the death of the 4-month-old granddaughter of McLennan County Judge Scott Felton, surrendered to police Thursday morning and later was released on bond.

Additional arrest warrants were issued late Friday for Fraser.

The arrest warrants, which charge endangering a child, stem from two different cases involving additional children.

The lawsuit will be filed after Fraser’s criminal proceedings are finished in hopes of bringing light to seemingly failed state regulations, according to the Felton’s attorney Zollie Steakley.

The death of 3-month-old Nathan King from Bryan in 2008 led to the passage of Nate’s Law, which requires daycare owners in Texas to get consent from parents before giving any medication to children in their care.

Steakley, who will file the suit, plans on questioning the law’s effectiveness.

“We are very thankful for Nate’s Law,” Steakley said.

“But we want to see if there’s any way of enforcing it better, or a way to check and see if daycares know about that law and are complying with it.”

But Steakley says the biggest oversight is in state requirements for child care centers.

Fraser’s daycare had no insurance, and Section 42.049 of the Texas Human Resources Code states that, “a license holder shall maintain liability insurance coverage in the amount of $300,000 for each occurrence of negligence.”

But the code also states that, “if a license holder for financial reasons is unable to secure the insurance required…there will not be ground for suspension or revocation of the license holder’s license.”

According to Steakley Clara’s medical and funeral costs may have been covered if Fraser had liability insurance.

“Medical costs and funeral costs do indeed add up,” Steakley said.

“We all are required to have car insurance to drive a car, but if you’re taking care of precious babies in a daycare, you don’t have to have any.”

What Steakley found more astounding was that the Felton’s paid $650 a month in daycare fees to Fraser.

State records show Fraser can care for as many as 12 children at a time.

According to Steakley, if Fraser’s daycare was at capacity and every parent paid the same a month, Fraser could have accrued up to $93,600 a year before taxes.

“If this daycare can convince the State of Texas that they can’t afford insurance, than every daycare could do the same,” Steakley said.

Fraser’s attorney, Gerald Villarrial was contacted Sunday evening and would not provide any comment.

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