Originally created 08/07/02

Mission advances

Jackie Boatright was, of course, pleased to win an important round in court Monday in her crusade to raise the quality of care at Georgia day-care centers and to compel them to buy liability insurance.

Boatright knows whereof she speaks. Her 14-month-old son, Juan, nearly drowned last Sept. 9 at Maria Anderson's at-home, day-care center when he fell unattended into a mop bucket, leaving him semi-comatose and costing her hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical care to keep him alive.

Superior Court Judge Albert M. Pickett ruled that Anderson's facility was responsible for the tragic incident, and said he will decide the amount of judgment in about a month. But the court win is financially meaningless - Anderson will declare bankruptcy and probably not part with a penny - but it is morally gratifying.

Indeed, the most encouraging words Boatright heard from the judge wasn't his ruling so much as it was his commending her for her campaign to change state law on day cares and insurance.

She hopes to accomplish her mission next year in the legislature. Don't we all?

It is appalling that day-care centers aren't already required to buy insurance. How many industries still have a free pass like that? What happened to Jackie Boatright and her son is unconscionable. Insurance won't ever stop the physical or emotional pain of a tragic, careless accident, but it would at least get rid of the financial pain.


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