Madison - St. Clair Record

Monday, September 23, 2019

Mascoutah day care center sued for child's injury

By Ann Knef | Feb 5, 2008

Steven and Joan Pritchett allege their son suffered a severe brain injury while attending a Mascoutah day care center, according to a suit filed Jan. 30 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

The Pritchetts claim their son Nickolaus Pritchett was diagnosed with a subdural hematoma and bilateral multilayer retinal hemorrhage consistent with an acceleration/deceleration injury after he was picked up from Magic Building Block II on June 12, 2006.

"On June 12, 2006, Plaintiff Nickolaus Pritchett received severe and permanent injuries...," the complaint states.

"These injuries are the type of injuries that do not ordinarily occur in the absence of negligence, specifically these injuries occur when an individual is shaken or subject to violent acceleration-deceleration rotational force."

The Pritchetts, represented by Richard K. Hunsaker and Sara A. Ingram of Heyl, Royster, Voelker & Allen of Edwardsville, are seeking in excess of $150,000 in damages plus costs of the suit from the day care center and its owner Wendy Schulz.

According to the complaint, Nickolaus displayed no signs of injury or illness when he arrived at the center in the morning. When he was picked up between 4:15 and 4:20 p.m. he had to be awakened, the complaint states.

"Typically, Nickolaus was awake and alert at this time of day," the complaint states.

The complaint also states that Nickolaus cried when he was awakened, which was not typical, and that Magic Building Block did not inform the Pritchetts that Nickolaus had had an accident, injury or illness during the day.

After arriving at home Nickolaus displayed poor balance, held onto various objects and occasionally lifted his right leg off the ground, which was not typical, the complaint states.

"At approximately 7:24 p.m. Nickolaus fell in his home and began screaming and crying," the complaint states. "His mother, Joan Pritchett, noticed that Nickolaus was trembling and shaking, that his eyes were looking backward and he was vomiting."

The Pritchetts claim the defendants failed to ensure its employees did not handle Nickolaus in such a way as to cause injury or harm.

They calim they have had to spend large sums of money for medical and hospital care.

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