Michigan City day care sued over 5-year-old boy’s death
LAPORTE — A mother has filed a lawsuit against the owner of a Michigan City day care center where her 5-year-old son died last week after accidentally hanging himself with a jump rope.
The lawsuit from Anita Leflore argues that workers at Tricia’s Playhouse and Day Care in Michigan City failed to properly supervise her son and inspect the center’s outdoor play area.
The LaPorte County coroner ruled Amareon Williams died June 9 from asphyxiation after getting caught in a jump rope left hanging over an outdoor play fort at the day care about 30 miles west of South Bend.
Leflore said Wednesday she has been struggling in the days since Amareon’s death.
“It’s hard for me to understand it,” she told WSJV-TV. “At night, I still wake up and cry because it hurts.”
The Associated Press left a telephone message Thursday seeking comment from day care owner Tricia Calvin at the center, which state officials ordered closed last week.
The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in a LaPorte County court, which didn’t have record Thursday of an attorney representing Calvin.
Leflore’s lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages, also says the day care center didn’t have properly trained employees and that no staffers gave CPR to Amareon after he was found injured.
“The people running this day care had an absolute responsibility that day to inspect that playground and make sure that any hazardous objects, hazardous materials, were removed and they failed egregiously to do so that day,” said Mark Novak, a Chicago attorney representing Leflore.
Novak also faulted the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration for allowing Tricia’s Playhouse to remain open after an April 21 inspection found several violations, including failure to report suspected child abuse or neglect, harsh punishment and a locked exit.
The state agency declined to discuss the decision at that time to place the day care on probationary status.
“We would like to express our deepest condolences to the family,” an FSSA statement said. “Since our investigation is ongoing, we have no further comment.”