Florida family wins $21 million for kid dying in hot daycare van, insurance won’t pay

The insurance company says the Ewing’s Love & Hope preschool policy was canceled weeks before the 4-month-old died.

JACKSONVILLE, Florida – The video with this story is taken from the previous linked report.

The family of a child who died in a hot daycare van won a $21 million wrongful death sentence, but it’s unclear if the money will ever be paid. A new federal lawsuit shows the daycare insurance company is dismissing the claim, saying the policy was canceled weeks before the child’s death.

The case is linked to the death of Brooklyn Blount in May 2019. A four-month-old girl died at Ewing’s Love & Hope Preschool in Jacksonville’s Westside when she was accidentally left in a hot van for nearly five hours. Brooklyn’s mother, Lancia Isaac, sued and won a $21.6 million verdict in January.

But court records show that the insurance company Markel, which is being asked to pay the amount, denies the claim, saying “the policy was canceled prior to May 22, 2019.” [the date of the child’s death] and thus there is no coverage.”

The company says the kindergarten’s insurance policy was canceled for non-payment on May 6, 2019, “thus claims are not covered.”

It further states: “Even if coverage exists (which does not), the losses of the plaintiffs in this action are limited to the Policy’s liability limits, which include the $1 million liability limit on the General Commercial Liability Coverage Part and the Professional Liability Limit. The limit of liability for each illegal act is 1 million US dollars.”

Law firm Pajcic & Pajcic, representing Isaac, declined to comment at length as the case is under litigation, saying only “the wheels of justice can sometimes turn slowly.”

First Coast News has reached out to attorneys for the insurance company, as well as attorneys for Ewing’s Love & Hope and Isaac Preschool, and will update this story with any response.

In a 2021 interview, Isaac said the years since her child’s death have been “a struggle. There are days when everything is great. There are days when I miss my child madly. There are days when I say, “Why me?”

Kindergarten co-owner Darryl Ewing was initially charged with aggravated manslaughter in connection with the child’s death, but entered into a plea deal with the state. Under the terms of the deal, he must report to the Duval County jail on the weekend after the anniversary of Brooklyn’s death within seven years and spend the night from Friday to Sunday morning behind bars.

Ewing will also face restrictions on his contact with children and will never again be able to run a day care center. Ewing declined to discuss the matter, but was reportedly distraught after the incident. His arrest report indicated that “he wanted to hurt himself.”

The Lennox Avenue Kindergarten was closed by the state after the death of a child.

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