Couple sues child care website they blame for baby daughter’s death

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KENOSHA, Wis. — A couple is suing the popular child care website Care.com for the death of their baby girl, according to HLN.

Prosecutors say 3-month-old Rylan Koopmeiners died of blunt force trauma on July 27, 2012, while under the care of Sarah Gumm, a nanny the girl’s parents found on Care.com.

According to the suit, Gumm, 33, repeatedly left the 3-month-old unattended while she allegedly took a taxi to a local pharmacy and purchased wine. The lawsuit goes on to allege that Gumm was under the influence of alcohol while providing nanny services and “negligently struck and/or slammed Rylan on her head causing a head injury” and ultimately, death.

Gumm has been charged with first-degree murder and is in jail awaiting trial.

Nathan and Reggan Koopmeiners say Care.com is partially responsible for their child’s death because an adequate background check was not performed on Gumm.

The parents claim they paid for the “Premier Background Check” on Gumm, the highest level of background check offered by Care.com, but that the site was negligent in performing the check.

Gumm has a history of alcohol abuse and violence, according to the suit, including two DUI citations in 2010, a criminal felony matter in 2012 and a 2004 battery incident.

The Koopmeiners say they would have never hired Gumm had they known this.

“We are deeply saddened by this event. In following up with our safety team, we’re sorry to report that the family did not avail themselves of the background checking services for this provider and thus the facts as reported are incorrect. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the family,” a representative for Care.com told HLN.

Gumm is being held under a $3,000,000 bond and will appear in court in September.

 

9 comments

  • Lori

    But this woman was allowed to create an account and start working for a family with multiple instances on her record. Shows there was at least some severe oversight on behalf of the website.

    • Sheilagh Roth

      Care.com is only an electronic website with many thousands of users. Parents should do their own background checks on the person to whom they are entrusting their precious children’s lives. It is time for licensing nannies.

  • Carrie G.

    I am sorry, but why is a website that provides care for children not doing these”premier” background checks for free on their own. The parents can certainly pay for the service to find the child care but why would the site not be doing these checks knowing these people are going to be caring for children?? I believe this should be something already done in order to list on this site as an available caregiver.

    • Krista

      I agree. You don’t know what is involved in the website’s background check. I wonder how quickly they uncovered these other alleged offenses in preparing to sue

  • Kristine Fix

    I agree that parents need to look into the backgrounds of those who provide care for their children. This family THOUGHT they had done that by using a popular, reputable? site. Whether the family paid the fee or not to gain access to this woman’s background check, WHY did Care.Com allow her to list herself as someone eligible and safe to provide care for children!?!? Care.Com has responsibilities to maintain in order to be a reputable site for CUSTOMERS to even consider paying any membership or service fees… they are NOT just an electronic website listing random people, and doing it all for free free.

  • Kristine Fix

    *I’m also a home child care provider who has used Care.Com in the past to find babysitters for my own kids in the evenings AND for assistants in my child care program… I always had additional state/county background checks done.

  • Katie w

    I used to be a part of that website. I had excellent referrals from people on and off the site attesting to my credibility as a babysitter. A few years ago I had some issues. Not even 2 months after I received an email from care.com letting me know I could no longer use their service. If a background check that was performed by them turned up nothing then something definitely needs to be looked at since I had been using the site for 2 years and they found out about an incident not even 2 months after it happened.

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