Lawsuit claims popular daycare caused permanent brain damage

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by JAKE WHITTENBERG / KING 5 NEWS

Bio | Email | Follow: @jakewhittenberg

KING5.com

Posted on February 21, 2012 at 10:45 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 30 at 4:01 AM

ISSAQUAH, Wash. -- An Issaquah couple is pointing the finger at an international daycare chain with claims that care providers caused permanent brain injury to their child.

The lawsuit recently filed in King County Superior Court states Bright Horizons was negligent when caring for the child. Les and Jill Baslington believe their 8-month-old daughter Delaney was shaken in February 2010 shortly after being dropped off at the daycare in Issaquah.

"She was happy and healthy that day," said Les Baslington. "Then all of a sudden this happened."

According to an incident report, medics were dispatched to the daycare after a call from a care provider who found Delaney not breathing. CPR was performed and the toddler was rushed to Seattle Children's Hospital and put on life support.

"It's every parent's worst nightmare," Jill said. "It was two years ago but it's so raw."

The news didn't get any better.

Tests were performed and bleeds were found behind Delaney's eyes. Dr. Naomi Sugar is the Medical Director at the Harborview Center for Sexual Assault and Traumatic Stress. She noted the retinal hemorrhages were "too numerous to count." She wrote the injuries appeared to be "inflicted head trauma."  To Dr. Sugar, it appeared the toddler was shaken.

No one knows for sure. But the lawsuit filed by the Baslingtons suggests that Bright Horizons was negligent.

"We thought she was safe. They were supposed to take care of her," said Jill.

A spokesperson for Bright Horizons told KING 5 the injuries to Delaney did not happen at the daycare center. Rather, Delaney fell backwards on a floor mat while reaching for a toy and a short time later, her eyes rolled back in her head while a caregiver was changing her diaper. 

According to the lawsuit, Children’s Hospital medical personnel believed it was not possible for her parents to be the cause of her injuries because Delaney didn’t collapse until mid-afternoon.

“They're a child care organization and they're supposed to care about children and about families," Jill said. "Nothing about our experience with them has made us feel that they care one bit."

In a statement, Bright Horizons said: “Our teachers love this child and care about her very much. Since that day, our thought and prayers have been with the family and that continues to be the case.”  Click here to read Bright Horizon’s full statement.

Today Delaney appears normal but she goes to therapy several times a week and her parents say she has behavioral and learning issues.

King County prosecutors did not file any criminal charges saying there wasn't enough evidence to prove where and when Delaney's injuries occurred.

One of Delaney's teachers is still on administrative leave, the other left her position last year.

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