Rainbow Child Care Center, a former daycare in Allendale, MI was recently named in a suit alleging it was negligent while caring for 20-month-old Elias Van Lente.
A former daycare in Allendale, Michigan came under fire earlier this week in a lawsuit over allegations that it was negligent while caring for 20-month-old Elias Van Lente. The daycare, Rainbow Child Care Center, closed down last year and is currently fighting a “multi-million-dollar lawsuit over allegations a baby nearly died while left face-down in a pillow.” The recent suit, filed by Elias’ parents, Adam and Lindsey Van Lente, argues the former daycare’s negligence left their son permanently disabled.
What happened, though? According to the suit, Elias was “among 11 children in an infant room with only two caregivers — a violation of state law.” On February 19, 2018, while in the care of the two caregivers, Elias was laid on his “stomach on a Boppy Newborn Lounger, a pillow for infants.” When commenting on the type of pillows Elias was laid on, the family’s attorney, Genie Eardley, said, “they’re kind of like a round pillow, soft, they had a big sign on it that said do not place small infant face-down on this pillow, and one of the childcare workers there did exactly that, left him there.”
Elias, who was only three-months-old at the time, was left on the pillow for about 20 minutes until “another worker noticed him motionless and still face down, turning blue and not breathing,” according to the lawsuit. From there, 911 was contacted and the infant was rushed to the hospital. Eardley added:
“He was seizing, eyes rolling back in his head, so, yeah, he got very close to not making it…It’s really a miracle he survived…His brain injury is severe enough that he will always be dependent on others…Prior to this incident, he was a normal, healthy 3-month-old.”
As a result of his injury, Elias’ doctor estimates his medical life care plan will be extremely costly. When commenting on that particular matter, Eardley said, “Depending on the different numbers you look at, it’s somewhere between $20 million and $33 million, minimum. That would include constant care for the rest of his life.” She added:
“He can’t hold himself up. Even though he’s almost 2, he can only say three or four words, so he’s developmentally delayed. He crawls, but he can’t stand on his own or walk. He’ll never be employable. He’ll never go to school and have an actual job.”
An investigation into Elias’ injury is what led detectives to unearth unrelated allegations of physical abuse at the former day care. Eventually, the day care’s license was temporarily suspended in March 2018 and never reopened.