Tuesday 6 December 2016

Parents file lawsuit against Irish nanny over death of baby

Published 12/02/2016 | 02:30

Charges against Irish nanny Aisling Brady McCarthy were dropped in August last year. Photo: Keith Bedford//The Boston Globe via AP
Charges against Irish nanny Aisling Brady McCarthy were dropped in August last year. Photo: Keith Bedford//The Boston Globe via AP

The parents of a baby girl who died while in the care of an Irish nanny have filed legal proceedings against her five months after Boston police dropped their criminal case.

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Aisling Brady McCarthy (37) was arrested in January 2013 following the death of one-year-old Rehma Sabir in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The Cavan woman, who was in her mid-thirties at the time, was accused of shaking the child, causing a sudden catastrophic brain bleed.

However, after being detained for two years, new expert testimony cleared her name.

She was released last September and returned home to Ireland.

Yesterday, the parents of little Rehma filed papers in Middlesex County Superior Court, claiming Ms McCarty caused the death of their first-born child due to her "negligent, malicious, wilful, wanton, reckless and/or grossly negligent acts."

Speaking to the 'Boston Globe' newspaper Sameer Sabir and Nada Siddiqui said they filed the lawsuit to "protect their daughter's memory."

Ms Siddiqui's statement is the first time the couple have spoken publicly since their daughter's death.

Their daughter died two days after being rushed to the emergency room at Boston Children's Hospital on January 14, 2013.

The couple, who have had two sons since Rehma died, said they wished to remain out of the public spotlight adding: "We respectfully request privacy and we defer any questions to our attorney."

The couple's legal representative Jonathan Friedmann said they would be willing to drop the wrongful death suit if agreement could be reached with Ms McCarty on certain matters of contention.

Charges against Ms McCarthy were dropped in August last year after a medical examiner changed the cause of the child's death from homicide to "undetermined".

Murder was not ruled out completely as a possible cause, but Middlesex County prosecutors said the medical examiner's new views made it unlikely they could prove murder charges beyond a reasonable doubt.

The nanny continuously professed her innocence throughout her two-and-a-half-year incarceration while awaiting trial.

Melinda Thompson, one of Ms McCarthy's attorneys in the criminal case, said that by filing the lawsuit Rehma's parents are "compounding the tragedy" of their child's death, calling the suit "shocking and disturbing."

Ms Brady McCarthy said her family, as well as the cards and letters of support she received, were a source of great strength for her.

Ms Brady McCarthy cannot return to the United States for a decade as a result of overstaying her visa.

Irish Independent

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