Family of Drowned 1-Year-Old Files Tort Claim Against State FSSA
One-year-old Juan Carlos Cardenas was found dead at a baptismal pool at this church. (WIBC.com file photo: Ray Steele)
The parents of a one-year-old boy who drowned in a baptismal pool at a church daycare center in February has filed a tort claim against the state.
The attorney representing Maricela Serna and Juan G. Cardenas claim the state, specifically the Family and Social Services Administration, failed to properly regulate the Praise Fellowship Assembly of God church. The church was funded by the FSSA's Child Care Development Fund, which pays for child care facilities to provide services for low-income families.
Attorney Steve Wagner says under the CCDF program, facilities are supposed to undergo annual inspections by the FSSA. He says those inspections show numerous safety violations dating back several years, yet the FSSA continued to allow the church to be eligible for the CCDF program. He says it wasn't until after the boy's death that the church's eligibility was revoked.
Cardenas was found face down in two feet of water in the church's baptismal pool after a therapist showed up and workers realized the boy was missing. He was taken to St. Vincent Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
The boy's parents are seeking unspecified damages in the tort claim. In April, they filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Praise Fellowship.
MORE FROM WIBC NEWS:
» Family Files Wrongful Death Suit in Son's Drowning (4-10-12)
» No Charges in Drowning of 1-Year-Old Boy (3-7-12)
» 1-Year-Old Drowns in Church Baptismal Pool (2-22-12)