The parents of a 10-month-old boy who died after being found unresponsive during a nap at a suburban daycare have filed suit against the daycare, its owner and staff.
According to the lawsuit filed Tuesday, Vincent “Tre” Clark III was put into a “pack and play” at the Learn-N-Play All Day Home Childcare in Lansing and left to nap with a blanket around 10:30 a.m. on April 9. The pack and play was located in the basement of the home day care, which is in the 2800 block of 186th Street, and there was no auditory or visual monitoring system, the suit states.
Around 12:45 p.m., day care owner Kimberly White and employee Christopher White discovered the infant wasn’t breathing, according to the suit.
The pair called emergency services for help, but did not attempt to perform CPR or other life-saving measures on the child before they arrived, the lawsuit states, noting that neither Kimberly or Christopher White were certified in such first aid measures.
According to the lawsuit, Vincent was without oxygen for more than 20 minutes before emergency responders rushed him to Community Hospital in Munster, Indiana. He was then airlifted to University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital where he passed away.
“This is every parent’s worst nightmare,” the family’s attorney Patrick A. Salvi II said in a statement. “When you leave your child at a daycare, you trust that they will be kept safe and free from harm. This horrific tragedy was completely avoidable. Had the daycare’s employees properly watched Tre, the Clarks would not be here today mourning the loss of their first and only child.”
In their suit, Vincent's parents, Ebony Clark and Vincent Clark II, allege the day care was negligent for failing to supervise, observe and monitor the child. It also claims the child was not properly placed in the pack and play and that staff was not properly trained.
The suit seeks an excess of $50,000.
Kimberly White and the Learn-N-Play All Day Home Childcare could not immediately be reached for comment. The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services confirmed it was investigating an allegation of neglect at the facility and the results of the investigation were pending as of Tuesday.
The license renewal at the day care was "pending" when the child was found unresponsive in April, officials said.
"He impacted a lot of lives even at only 10 months old," Ebony Clark said. "A lot of people had stories. A lot of people had nice, great, beautiful things to say about our son, which keeps us smiling and keeps us going forward in knowing that we still have a duty to do - and that’s to keep our son alive in our hearts."