A US court awarded $4 million in damages to the parents of toddler Rehma Sabir yesterday, a result of a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the couple against the Irish nanny they believe is responsible for the infant’s death.
The Boston nanny, Aisling Brady McCarthy, originally from Co. Cavan, was formerly indicted for the one-year-old's murder but charges were dropped after a two-year case when the cause of the infant's death was reviewed.
Unhappy with the release of their former nanny, Sameer Sabir and Nada Siddiqui asked the judge to prevent McCarthy from making money on her story, believing there to be overwhelming medical and forensic evidence that she killed their daughter.
“She [Rehma] was totally dependent upon her caretaker [McCarthy] who, impatient with her crying, tried to silence her,” the couple’s lawyer Martha Coakley told the judge.
While understanding that McCarthy does not have $4 million and not wishing to stop her from earning a living in her native Ireland, the one-year-old's parents hope to stop McCarthy from making any money from movie or publishing deals regarding her story, after they failed to receive an assurance from the Irish woman that she would not seek to profit from the experience. The former nanny has always maintained her innocence.
After the $4 million judgment, the couple will now be able to legally pursue McCarthy for any payments she receives relating to the case. Sameer Sabir and Nada Siddiqui had both previously stayed away from court during the criminal trial but appeared on Thursday to hear the ruling by Middlesex Superior Court Judge Leila Kern.
“It’s the first time I feel our voice was heard,” said Siddiqui, following the judgement, while Coakley stated that the way in which the former criminal case was “short-circuited,” not allowing the parents their day in court was, “To me, it’s the most unfair thing I’ve ever seen.”
Rehma Sabir was found unconscious in her crib in her family home in Cambridge. MA, and rushed to the hospital with head injuries on January 14, 2013. She died two days later on her first birthday and McCarthy was charged with her murder.
The original medical report found that Rehma died from blunt-force head injuries, but that the child also had pre-existing bone fractures. McCarthy always claimed that Rehma died from injuries sustained on a family holiday while not in her care and proclaimed her innocence. Expert witnesses for the defense also noted that Rehma was often sick and had suffered bone fractures in her spine weeks before her death while traveling with her mother and not in the nanny’s care.
A review of the medical evidence was announced in April 2015 when it came to light the prosecution may have withheld evidence. With thanks to the presentation of evidence from nine outside experts attesting that the death was not homicide, the cause of the toddler’s death was changed and McCarthy was released in August 2015. She was immediately taken into the custody of US immigration authorities for overstaying her visa and she returned to Ireland, where she now lives with her Co. Cork husband.
H/T: Boston Globe