Irish nanny sued for wrongful death by child’s parents

US civil action filed against Aisling Brady McCarthy after murder charges dropped

Irish nanny Aisling Brady McCarthy is being sued for wrongful death by the parents of the deceased one-year-old girl she cared for, five months after US prosecutors dropped murder charges against her.

Massachusetts couple Sameer Sabir and Nada Siddiqui filed the lawsuit in the Middlesex County Superior Court near Boston, alleging that Ms McCarthy, who returned to Ireland last year, was responsible for the death of their child, Rehma just over three years ago.

They claim their daughter died due to Ms McCarthy’s “negligent, malicious, wilful, wanton, reckless and/or grossly negligent acts”.

The couple told the Boston Globe that the main reason for bringing the lawsuit against the Co Cavan woman was to stop the nanny making money off their child's death through book or movie deals.


"Sameer and I want to emphasise that our purpose in filing this suit is to prevent Aisling McCarthy from profiting from our daughter's death," Ms Siddiqui told the Globe.

“We lost our beautiful little girl in very difficult circumstances, and feel compelled to bring this suit to protect her memory.”

US prosecutors abandoned the murder case against the Irish woman in August after the Massachusetts medical examiner revised the manner of death, ruling out homicide.

Ms McCarthy’s lawyers denied that their client caused the child’s death and argued that Rehma had pre-existing medical issues and injuries that meant the Irish woman was not responsible.

One of Ms McCarthy’s attorneys reacted angrily to news of the lawsuit, describing the litigation as “shocking and disturbing” and that the parents are “compounding the tragedy” of the child’s death.

"To sue someone for money, for someone who is literally trying to get back on her feet - it's shocking," said attorney Melinda Thompson.

Ms McCarthy had pleaded her innocence since her arrest in 2013 after the child was found unconscious in her cot while the Irish nanny was looking after her at the family home in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

She spent almost two and a half years in prison awaiting trial in a case that was repeatedly delayed over disclosures of medical evidence.

In an interview with Boston Globe reporter Kevin Cullen at her home in Co Cork last month, Ms McCarthy said that she was planning to take a legal action in Massachusetts over the decision to prosecute her.

She was sharply critical of a ruling by US medic Dr Alice Newton, the doctor who implicated her in the death of the child, and the decision of Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan to prosecute her.

Simon Carswell

Simon Carswell

Simon Carswell is News Editor of The Irish Times