June 2, 2023

E. coli Wrongful Death Case Settled for $1 Million

An E. coli wrongful death lawsuit filed in behalf of a 2-year-old boy who died from an E. coli infection he contracted at his daycare center has been settled for $1 million. Myles Mayfield, 2, of Greenwood, South Carolina died May 31, 2015 from hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a complication of E. coli infections that causes kidney failure.

Gavel on Bench

A teacher at the daycare center got sick in early May of 2015 and was subsequently notified by the South Carolina Department of Health & Environmental Control that she had tested positive for E. coli, according to the lawsuit. Deposition testimony revealed that daycare directors were aware of the teacher’s positive E. coli test and took no action. Violating state regulations, they allowed her to continue working and did not notify the parents. The directors claimed they did not know the regulations required notification of the parents, according to the suit.

Had the family been told of the illness, and that the teacher was continuing to work, in violation of state regulations, the Mayfields could have made different arrangements for Myles, said the family’s attorney Eric Hageman. “Instead, the family was kept in the dark and Myles died from the same strain of E. coli as the teacher had.”

The family hopes that the suit will raise awareness and prevent future tragedies, said Barry Mayfield. “This lawsuit was never about money. All the money in the world can’t bring back Myles. By filing this lawsuit, we just wanted some accountability, so that no other family would ever have to lose a child the way our family did. We hope that by shining a light on what happened to Myles, future tragedies can be avoided. While we will forever feel the pain of the loss of Myles, we are dedicated to ensuring that his death was not in vain and that those responsible for operating daycares will follow the rules and will put the safety of children first.

“We are hopeful our family can move past all of the anger and pain so that healing can occur. Our goal is to release the hurt we feel and to focus on making those we entrust with taking care of our children aware of the dangers of E. coli and other bacteria. If something good can come out of something bad, we would feel that Myles’ death was not in vain.”

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