Care.Com Faces Wrongful Death Lawsuit After Nanny Alleged Kills Baby

The babysitter referral website, Care.com, now faces a lawsuit for allegedly failing to do a proper background check on a nanny accused of causing the death of an infant she was caring for. 

Nathan and Reggan Koopmeiners filed a wrongful death lawsuit last week in Wisconsin state court against both Sarah Gumm, a nanny jailed on first-degree murder charges, and Care.com, the website that referred her to them.

Gumm allegedly killed three month-old Rylan Cooper in 2012, after leaving the child alone in order to go out and buy alcohol. Police and the Koopmeiners said that she somehow caused a fatal head injury to the child when she returned. Gumm is currently in jail in Lake County, Illinois awaiting trial.

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In the lawsuit against Care.com, the Koopmeiners allege that the company was negligent and partially responsible for the child’s death, because it failed to do an adequate background check.

The couple said they paid for the site’s “Premier Background Check”, which is the highest level of background check the site provides. However, the couple claims that the background check did not reveal Gumm’s history of alcohol abuse, arrests for DUI, and criminal record suggesting violence. Care.com listed Gumm as “suitable for providing child care and nanny services” according to the lawsuit.

Care.com officials dispute the couple’s claims, and maintain that the couple did not avail itself to Care.com’s background check options. Officially, the website cautions that it does not endorse any care provider and is not responsible for their behavior.

Gumm has plead not guilty to the first degree murder charges, and her attorney says that the child’s death was the result of recklessness. The child’s family and police claim she may have intentionally struck the child in the head.

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