Fri, Aug 12, 2016
The Irish Times, Dublin
Irish nanny found to be liable for baby’s death
Massachusetts court rules against Aisling Brady McCarthy in civil complaint
A Massachusetts court has found Irish nanny Aisling Brady McCarthy, against whom a murder charge was dropped over the death of one-year-old Rehma Sabir in her care, to be civilly liable for the baby’s death.
The child died in January 2013 after she was found unconscious in her cot while the Irish nanny was looking after her at the family home in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Earlier this month, Ms McCarthy failed to respond to a civil complaint filed against her by the child’s parents, Sameer Sabir and Nada Siddiqui.
The “default ruling” entered by a clerk in the Middlesex Superior Court triggers the scheduling of a court hearing to determine damages, according to Martha Coakley, an attorney for the parents of the deceased infant.
“The court will either set a date or we will request a date some time in the fall for the entry of a default judgement,” Ms Coakley said in a telephone interview on Friday.
Following her indictment for the murder of Sabir, Ms McCarthy spent 27 months in jail and three months under house arrest while awaiting trial.
On August 31st, 2015, the state medical examiner reversed an earlier finding that the baby’s death had been a homicide.
The Middlesex District Attorney subsequently suspended Ms McCarthy’s prosecution.
In a statement, the medical examiner said the cause and manner of the death of the baby were “undetermined” and that the baby’s history of bruising and clotting made her subject to easy bleeding.
The statement also speculated that Sabir’s death could have been the result of an undefined natural disease.
Ms Coakley said the family’s interest was in keeping Ms McCarthy from profiting from any story she might try to sell about her ordeal, though the attorney said she was not aware of any specific publisher or agent who was interested in the story.
“I do believe the family had some reason to believe that there might have been some interest on her part,” said Ms Coakley.
The complaint also seeks $25,000 in damages, and burial costs for the one-year-old.
Ms Coakley said: “While this case was investigated and ultimately dropped by the district attorney when the medical examiner’s office changed its opinion to undetermined, the only side of the story that most people heard was that of the defendant . . . through her counsel, through columnists, through other publicity.
“There’s really little or no reporting on the allegations, the strength of the allegations.
“And so the family feels that the public does not know the true story. And that is part of their goal here . . . to set the record straight.”
There is no attorney on record as representing Ms McCarthy. Calls to Melinda Thompson, who represented Ms McCarthy in her criminal case, were not returned.