MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – Two employees of a Myrtle Beach daycare are facing a lawsuit after parents say their 7-month-old was violently shaken, causing him permanent damage, according to the lawsuit.
Gladys Knuesel, Lona Thomas, and Busy Bodies Child Care Center are facing a lawsuit filed on Aug. 31 by Shauna Campbell and Rohan Thomas, parents of the child, that says they caused bodily harm and were negligent toward a baby at the daycare in 2019.
In November of 2019, officers responded to Busy Bodies for an unresponsive infant. Shauna Campbell said she received a phone call from Busy Bodies informing her that something was wrong with her child and that he was being transferred to Grand Strand Medical Center, according to the lawsuit.
The executive director and owner of the daycare, Knuesel, said Thomas was feeding the 7-month-old when the baby started choking. Thomas then reportedly began performing CPR along with another employee.
Knuesel also said 911 was called and the baby was responsive when an ambulance took the baby.
The child was admitted to Grand Strand Medical for critical care and around Nov. 4, he started having seizures, according to the lawsuit.
The hospital looked further into the child’s case, the lawsuit said, because the seizures raised suspicion that there may have been physical trauma caused by an adult.
Repeated MRI studies showed that the child had hemorrhaging in his brain, interspinous ligamentous edema in his neck and bilateral retinal hemorrhaging in his eye, the lawsuit stated.
The child was then transferred by helicopter to the Medical University of South Carolina where it was determined the injuries the child had were most likely caused by being violently shaken by an adult, according to the suit. They also said the timing of the injury was pinpointed to during the time the child was at the daycare, the suit claims.
Following multiple procedures, the child was given therapies that determined that he has failed to reach numerous developmental milestones, the lawsuit claims.
“The defendants (Busy Bodies) breached their duty to provide proper care for (the child) and were thereby negligent, grossly negligent, reckless and careless,” the lawsuit reads.
On Nov. 7, Thomas was charged with the infliction of great bodily injury upon a child, according to Myrtle Beach Police. She was granted a $7,500 surety bond and ordered to stay away from the victim’s family and the daycare where she worked, according to authorities.
The family of Thomas says she told the baby’s mother previously to bring new bottles to the daycare because the hole in the bottle’s nipple was too big and releasing too much milk. The baby was also reportedly not at the daycare for two days prior to the incident, according to previous reports.
The parents are suing for actual and punitive damages “in an amount to be determined by the jury at the trial of this matter for the costs and disbursements in this action, and for such other and further relief as this Court may deem just and proper,” according to the lawsuit.
News13 has reached out to the daycare, and has not yet heard back.
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