Posted on Jun 13, 2008
Timothy Burke was fine when his father dropped him off at the YMCA Childcare Center in Marblehead on the morning of June 9, 2005. Even though his best buddy wasn't there that day, Timothy, 3, happily played alone, filling a toy dump truck with mulch, pushing it across the yard and then emptying it. He ended up inside a playhouse built against the side of the Humphrey Street center. No one's sure what happened next, but about 15 minutes later, the little boy was found unconscious, face down against the back of the toy truck. Less than a week later, on June 15, his parents "reluctantly" made the decision to take him off life support. Now his parents have filed a wrongful death suit against the Marblehead-Swampscott YMCA, six of its employees and Northshore Ambulance of Salem. The lawsuit, filed Monday in Salem Superior Court, three years to the day after Timothy's death, alleges that both the YMCA and its employees and the ambulance company and its workers were negligent. The suit charges that day care center employees failed to watch the child and, when they found him unconscious, failed to provide proper emergency care. It also charges that the ambulance company was negligent by failing to properly train its employees or provide them with proper supplies to treat the child. The ambulance workers never used a defibrillator on the boy.