John Michael Dunton of Anaheim was not criminally charged after his five-month-old died of heatstroke September 9 after her father left her in his van for four hours instead of at her babysitter. Dunton held a press conference with his attorney: “I hope that the auto industry or the car seat manufacturers will have some kind of alarm or bell so [parents] won’t forget their kid in a car.” (Wendy Thermos, “After Child’s Hot-Car Death, Father Backs Alarm Systems for Parents”, LA Times, Sep. 25). One awaits with trepidation the first parent/attorney combination with the chutzpah to sue the auto industry for this oversight. Readers of Romenesko are appalled, though Michael Kaufman, tongue firmly in cheek, writes
We really need these warning systems all over the house. For example, I can’t tell you how many times I have started doing laundry without realizing that little Jimmy was still wearing the clothes that I was throwing in the washing machine. If I only had an early warning system on my washer/dryer. Or when I made the bed with Suzie still sleeping. I am actually thinking of suing Allstate for not warning me when I moved and left all the kids behind.