(WJW) — A Westlake couple has filed a suit against Kiddie Kollege in Bay Village, alleging their 2 1/2 year-old son was “brutalized” while at the day care center.
Will Kesling says he picked up their son one day in January of this year and saw bruising on several parts of his body, most noticeably near his neck.
“So I go up front expecting to get an incident report, and there’s another teacher up front who looks at me and says, ‘maybe he pinched himself.'”
When Will brought their son home, his wife, Melissa, says she was shocked.
“I was besides myself,” Melissa Laubenthal says, “but in the moment, I’m thinking, ‘I’m this kid’s mom, and I’m going to create a record, and show what they did, so someone’s going to have to answer for this.'”
In their lawsuit, the parents’ attorneys allege the boy’s injuries required extensive medical care.
“It does present as leukemia, those types of bruising, so he had to get an array of blood work. He needed to have an IV port put in, and he was transported by ambulance from one emergency room to Rainbow Babies (and Children’s Hospital), says Hannah Klang, an attorney with Merriman Legal who represents the family.
In a statement, Kiddie Kollege owner Renee Moell says:
“The safety of our children is our number one concern, and it has been for 47 years. We have not received the complaint, and will continue to respect the privacy of our children, families, and employees. We are unable to comment any further at this time.”
Bay Village police conducted a child abuse investigation. According to the police report, detectives were able to create a timeline for the injuries to the boy, and narrow their investigation down to three employees.
However, the police report says the investigation was “greatly hampered by Kiddie Kollege’s video surveillance not working on the date of this incident.”
Attorney Hannah Klang says the lawsuit is, in part, about trying to determine what happened “during nap time. He (the boy) was evidently not going down for the nap like they wanted. They couldn’t take their break until all the kids were napping. So evidently, they became very frustrated with the child, (and) held him down to such an extent that he had bruises.”
Klang says the parents just want answers out of their lawsuit.
“This isn’t a money grab,” she says, “this isn’t ‘give us a million dollars for this.’ This is about let us know what really happened, and take responsibility for it.”