Pasco daycare sued for negligence

Posted at 9:46 PM, May 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-20 05:23:01-04

On Mar. 31, Aidan Stallone’s father Steven says his son was shaking when he picked him up from KinderCare in Pasco county. The right side of his son’s face near his eye was bruised.

Aidan, 5, told ABC Action News that another kid at the daycare who was twice his age pushed him to the ground while playing the “tripping game.”

“I was playing the kid made me fall on the floor too hard and I scraped my whole face here and here and there,” Aidan said.  

Aidan’s mom Chelsea said she made numerous complaints to KinderCare workers about making sure her son was not mixed with other kids who were significantly older than her son.

“He shouldn’t be around 10 and 12 year olds,” Chelsea Stallone said. “They didn't take me seriously, and after the picture was posted and my husband posted about what had happened and the post went viral (on Facebook) then they kind of cared.  Because, then they had to actually cover their butts about what was actually going on.”

The lawsuit filed against KinderCare Education LLC claims the business and three employees were negligent, and through that negligence caused Aidan physical and emotional trauma.

The complaint filed in the Circuit Court of the Sixth Judicial in Pasco County alleges the workers, “failed to use reasonable care when, among other things, she failed to maintain an adequate employee-to-child ratio; failed to prevent or warn of dangers and/or inappropriate activities within the child care facility, including but not limited to “the kicking game”; and failed to segregate older children from younger children.”

Chelsea Stallone said KinderCare didn’t listen to her for more than two months when she complained her son was being bullied, she hopes they are listening now.  

“They never took me seriously, Chelsea Stallone said. “Not only had they lied to me, but my child keeps getting injured. They told me they would separate that age group of children from the children and they failed to do so.”

Steven Stallone got thousands of comments and views on his Facebook page after posting about what happened to his son. It was only after social media took off that the family says the daycare really started to pay attention.

“The post went viral then they kind of cared because then they had to actually cover their butts about what was actually going on,” Chelsea Stallone said.  

KinderCare spokesperson Colleen Moran said Thurs. they could not comment on the lawsuit because they still haven’t received a copy of it yet.  But added, “we remain sorry that their son was injured while in our care.”

Moran released the following statement to ABC Action News for our first report that aired in April:

We are committed to creating a safe, nurturing program for all children. We know some scrapes and scratches are a natural part of childhood. Of course, we understand that any injury to their child can be upsetting for a parent.

I can assure you that any time any child is injured at our center, our teachers treat the injury and fill out an incident report form that they share with the child’s parents.  The same was done for this child.

Although minor injuries, like scrapes, that require no medical attention are reported only to the child’s parents, we did call licensing this morning to inform them about the situation. They, along with CPS and the sheriff, are looking into the issue, and we will support these agencies in any way we can.

During the drop-off and pick-up times – when there aren’t many children in the center – we mix several age groups to ensure that we have appropriate supervision of all the children where one classroom might otherwise only have one student in the center, for instance. This practice is in accordance with Licensing guidelines.

While we don’t believe bullying is an issue at this center, KinderCare’s Inclusion Services team is working with staff to determine if there’s any additional support or training they can provide our teachers. The Inclusion Services team helps teachers determine the best way to support children’s specific needs, whether that’s through our curriculum or by offering support or training to teachers.