Family of Arkansas Boy Who Died After Being Left in Hot Day Care Van Files $135-Million Lawsuit

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A 5-year-old boy died after being left in a day care van on a hot day in West Memphis, Arkansas, and on Thursday, the family filed a lawsuit  against the facility.

Christopher Gardner Jr. was found dead last month after police say several workers at Ascent Children’s Health Services neglected to do their jobs, KTLA sister station WREG in Memphis reported.

He had been left in the van for about eight hours.

Police say workers at Ascent Children’s Health Services failed to do their jobs; four of them have been charged with manslaughter, WREG reported.

The lawsuit against Ascent, the employees and its corporate entities asks for $135 million. It alleges the defendants were the direct and proximate cause of Christopher’s death and asks for compensation for their suffering, along with medical and funeral expenses.

Attorney Randy Fishman is representing Christopher’s family and says the lawsuit involving the 5-year-old is personal.

“I mean this is a 5-year-old child who didn’t get to the first grade,” Fishman told WREG.

He added that although no dollar amount can replace a child, he’s hopeful this lawsuit can bring change.

“Raise the bar a bit,” Fishman said.

In the meantime, he says Christopher’s mother has shown unbelievable strength as she wakes up and goes to work every day.

“You know her heart is broken in half, you know that, so kudos to that lady that she’s able to do that,” he

Fishman hopes to find justice for their family.

“There’s always two sides to everything. I’ll be interested to see what the other side to this is,” he said.

The plaintiffs’ attorneys couldn’t give us the next hearing or a trial date, but the summons does say that the defendants have 30 days to respond or 60 days to respond if they’re incarcerated, according to the station.

WREG reached out to Ascent for a response to the lawsuit but has not heard back.

Correction: An earlier version of this story had an incorrect location of where the child died. The story has been updated. 

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