Delaware Mothers Sue Day Care Over Forced Fights
(DOVER, Del.) -- The mothers of two 3-year-olds who were allegedly encouraged to fight by day care workers who then filmed it on a cell phone are suing the Delaware facility, its owners and several employees.
Police arrested three caregivers in August after detectives viewed the cell phone footage of the fight, resulting in a temporary closure of The Hands of Our Future day care in Dover, but now mothers Tamika Chandler and Makeisha Gray are seeking damages and allege that the March fight was not an isolated incident. They filed the personal injury case on Nov. 9.
"Plaintiffs Kylil and Nashon, three (3) years old at the time of the abuse, were forced to physically pummel each other on several occasions," the criminal complaint reads.
The mothers allege that the facility owners knew about the fights, which the suit calls "ongoing and recurring," yet did nothing to stop them, according to the complaint.
Tiana Harris, 19, Estefania Meyers, 21, and Lisa Parker, 47, were arrested on Aug. 20, and charged with second degree assault, endangering the welfare of a child, and conspiracy.
The new suit claims also include false imprisonment and intentional infliction of emotional distress. They also accuse the owners of negligence and breach of contract.
The video shows one of the toddlers crying mid-fight and "seeking refuge" with one of the caregivers, who then "physically restrained the fleeing child, and forced him to continue to fight," according to the complaint. Then, the remaining two day care workers are filmed laughing.
The day care reopened last month and is now on probation, according to state records.
Other violations from January 2012 included a failure to wash hands and disinfect surfaces after diaper changes.
The mothers' lawyer, James Meehan, declined to comment.
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