Oklahoma City, OK 73105
For Immediate Release:
April 1, 2008
Edna Pittman and son Demarion await a vote on Demarion's
Law in the Senate Rules Committee.
Senate Rules Committee Gives Unanimous Approval
to Demarion’s Law
Legislation to require day care providers to carry liability insurance
has cleared its first major hurdle in the State Senate. House Bill
2863, called Demarion’s Law, was approved unanimously by the
Senate Rules Committee on Wednesday.
Last year, 3-year-old Demarion Pittman was accidently left in a
day care van. By the time he was discovered, his body temperature
had risen to 117 degrees, causing a heat stroke resulting in severe
brain damage and neurological disorders. Now in a wheelchair, Demarion
and his mother, Edna, attended the committee hearing. Fighting back
tears, Edna explained why the legislation was needed.
“He no longer talks, no longer walks. He’s fed through
a tube,” said Pittman. “...when we went to find help,
we found out that the day care did not carry insurance, and the
reason that they did not carry insurance was because the Department
of Human Services does not require that day cares carry liability
The Pittmans are now facing millions of dollars in medical bills.
She said her husband, Timothy, has been forced to take a second
job, and the family has been devastated. “I just never want
another Oklahoma family to go (through) what my family has gone
through,” Pittman said.
Leftwich, D-Oklahoma City, is the Senate author of the measure,
and Rep. Mike Shelton, D-Oklahoma City, is the House author. Leftwich
said the legislation would require day care facilities to carry
a minimum of $200,000. If a day care facility cannot get liability
insurance, they must notify the parents of the children they provide
care for. If a facility does have insurance and fails to renew,
that can be grounds for the suspension of its license.
“What happened to the Pittman’s son is heartbreaking,
but that loss was made even worse when they learned the day care
center had no insurance to cover their tremendous medical expenses.
Not only that, but because they are responsible citizens holding
down jobs, they do not qualify for help from any other sources,”
Leftwich said. “This bill won’t help the Pittman’s,
but it will help other parents should the unthinkable occur to another
child. I’m grateful to Edna for her courage and for her efforts
on behalf of other Oklahoma mothers.”
Shelton applauded the Rules Committee after they voted to send the
measure on to the full Senate for further consideration.
“I am very grateful to my fellow legislators for recognizing
the need to protect hardworking families from the costs of a day
care operator’s negligence” said Shelton. “Our
families deserve to know that their children are safe when they
are in the care of another, and if the negligence of their child
care provider harms their child, why should the parents have to
face losing their home and depleting their savings to pay medical
bills? I have no doubt my colleagues in the Senate will come through
for our families and pass this measure.”
For more information contact:
Senator Leftwich's Office: (405) 521-5557