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‘Everyday Pain': Parents Push for Action as Homestead Daycare Settles Suit Over Baby's Death

The parents of Tayvon Tomlin have reached a settlement with Lincoln Marti daycare, but they found the new revelations of their baby's death jarring

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Less than six months after filing a lawsuit against a Homestead daycare over the death of their baby, the parents of 9-month-old Tayvon Tomlin said they’ve settled with Lincoln Marti.

But both parents and their attorney said the findings of what happened the day Tomlin was found unresponsive in an infant napping room are jarring.

On July 18, 2022, the 9-month-old was found in medical distress in his crib at the daycare. Surveillance video showed daycare workers calling 911 and attempting to give the infant CPR. He would later be pronounced dead. The cause of death is still under investigation.

In October 2022, attorney Michael Levine of Stewart Tilghman Fox Bianchi & Cain law firm filed a lawsuit against Lincoln Marti, alleging several violations that contributed to Tayvon’s death. Previous surveillance video showed inadequate attempts to perform CPR, which was done in the arms of a daycare provider instead of a flat surface, which is the standard.

Through depositions of a daycare provider and a director from Lincoln Marti, it was found that the daycare provider didn’t go inside the room Tayvon was sleeping in for more than 45 minutes. This is a violation of the Department of Children and Families' policy, which requires adults to be within sight and sound of infants at all times.

“How long had Tayvon been having trouble breathing? Was it five minutes, 10 minutes, was it 30 minutes? We don’t know because they weren’t watching him,” Levine said. “That was shocking.”

Transcripts of the deposition of the daycare provider who attempted to perform CPR on Tayvon showed she admitted to taking an English-only online CPR course, which she then had her daughter-in-law translate.

“This provider did not speak any English. What that tells you is there’s no way that provider was truly CPR certified and really understood what to do,” Levine said.

The depositions also revealed the daycare director admitting she knew Lincoln Marti Homestead was understaffed that day, but never told the parents.

Tayvon Tomlin
Tayvon Tomlin

On Monday, Tayvon’s parents spoke exclusively to NBC 6. Keiara Whorley, Tayvon’s mother, is still emotional over the findings. 

“They’re leaving children, babies alone in a nursery,” Whorley said. “If they were understaffed, I wish they would have given me my son. I wish anything.”

Devonte Tomlin, Tayvon’s father, said the settlement doesn’t equate to justice.

“Everyday pain… everyday pain,” Tomlin said.

The incident reports weren’t given to the family until the lawsuit was filed and news stories covered the story, according to the family. This, too, is a violation of DCF laws, which require the report to be produced on the day of the incident.

The parents and their attorney want to push for legislation that could prevent another tragedy.

“We want to see a law that requires daycares to put videos in infant rooms, that’s first. Second of all, we really want to see some increased training,” Levine said.

Through previous court filings, Lincoln Marti said their actions didn’t contribute to Tayvon’s death and denied not providing proper supervision and training for its staff.

"The loss of any child is a tragedy and as long as humans have existed, tragic accidents have happened. No one leaves this experience better," Lincoln Marti said in a statement Tuesday through their attorney. "Lincoln Marti settled without admitting liability. We look forward to continuing to serve the community as we have faithfully done for 55 years. We continue to offer the family our deepest condolences for their loss. We suffer with them."

Editor's note: This article has been updated to include Lincoln Marti's statement, which was provided after this story aired.

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