The High Court of Justice rejected on Tuesday the appeal of a worker who left a baby in a car, leading to the infant suffering heat stroke and brain damage.
As part of their daycare services, Yaakov Kotovsky and his ex-wife Yelena operated a shuttle service which would collect and return the children. In 2020, a seven-month-old baby was left in the hot car for about four and a half hours.
Attempt to crudely revive child
The baby was found unconscious, but instead of immediately contacting emergency services, the pair attempted to crudely revive the baby themselves, using Google as a reference on heat stroke for children. When they were unable to revive the child, they contacted the parents and informed them that their infant was ill, had vomited and was sleeping a lot.
The workers returned the child to the parents, claiming that the child was responsive on the drive over despite its illness. The parents soon discovered that they could not rouse the child from its sleep, and called emergency services.
The infant was treated at the hospital, but proper medical attention was not given because of an incorrect history. The mother contacted the daycare worker, who continued to lie about the child's illness. The heatstroke, delay in treatment, and incorrect treatment resulted in brain damage. The baby is impaired in its faculties, is developmentally delayed in motor functions, and requires medication to prevent convulsions.
Kotovsky was convicted based on a confession in 2022 and sentenced in 2023 to 32 months prison, 8 months probation and was ordered to pay NIS 75,000 in compensation. He appealed the severity of the sentence, claiming that there were translation issues from Russian in his statements.
The court rejected the appeal, saying that the baby suffered even more beyond the heatstroke because of his selfishness and attempt to avoid responsibility; it seemed that he was seeking to do so again. Not only was the ruling not severe, said the court, it was not severe enough.
The mother of the injured baby was present at the proceedings, with the child on their lap, occasionally wiping away tears. The court gave her a chance to voice her opposition to the appeal.
"This man turned my child from a healthy child into a disabled child for life," she said.
In recent years, Israel has suffered from waves of children being left in hot cars, and high profile cases of abuse of children by daycares.