Tragic incident leads to bill for day care insurance

Thursday, January 17th 2008, 6:58 pm
By: News 9

By Amy Lester, NEWS 9

A tragic incident at a home day care left a family with millions to pay in medical bills. The situation has lawmakers taking action over insurance policies.

Demarion Pittman relies on his teachers and parents for everything.  He can't talk, can't walk and is fed through a tube.

Demarion's mother, Edna Pittman, heard the catastrophic news over the summer. Demarion suffered severe brain damage.  His home day care provider left him alone in a hot car for hours after returning from a field trip.  His body temperature reached 117 degrees.

"We catch a smile every now and then that just gives us hope, that he knows what's going on or he wants to improve, he's a fighter," said Demarion's mother, Edna Pittman.

The medical bills are already surpassing a million dollars.  Since the Department of Human Services does not require home day cares to carry business liability insurance, there's nowhere to turn for assistance with the bills.

Rep. Mike Shelton offered to help.  He just wrote a bill requiring all child care facilities to carry $200,000 in liability insurance.

"Seems like it's happening more and more, often something's happening badly at the day care or even transporting our kids, those kids should be covered, families should be covered," Shelton said.

Demarion's family encourages lawmakers to support the bill.  Her son's day-by-day recovery inspires her to push for it.

Also in the bill, if day care providers cannot afford or are denied insurance, they must notify all parents.  Rep. Shelton has another bill that sets up a fund day care providers pay into, to compensate parents for injuries in cases like this.

NEWS 9 tried to contact the owner of Demarion's day care; she has not returned our calls. Oklahoma City Police are still investigating to see if the day care owner should face criminal charges.