CLEVELAND — The attorney representing the mother of a 3-year-old girl who lost four of her front teeth at Kidd’s Preschool Enrichment Center filed a lawsuit against the day care Tuesday afternoon.
In the civil lawsuit filed in the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas, Jovan Alvord-Nicolino says her daughter, Ava, 3, told her “she lost her teeth when her teacher ... hit her.”
“I feel so upset,” Alvord-Nicolino said. “Ava’s very pretty, she’s very excited, outgoing. She just had a priceless smile and for them to just … her teeth are gone.”
After Ava was hurt, the day care’s owner, Monee Kidd-Pruitt, said she immediately fired the teacher.
During an on-camera interview with 5 On Your Side Investigator Sarah Buduson, Kidd-Pruitt also said she was still investigating what happened to Ava.
“We failed in that it happened,” she said. “The fact that she is in injured, that she’s missing teeth, that’s a problem," Kidd-Pruitt said. “It is very upsetting to me, to the rest of my staff, we are just crushed that this has happened."
5 On Your Side Investigators found the center has struggled to create a safe environment for the children in its care.
During two inspections this year, state inspectors found numerous safety-related violations. Among the issues listed in state records: the center had emergency exits blocked by classroom furniture, broken tiles, chipped and peeling paint and had failed to cover its electrical outlets.
During her interview, Kidd-Pruitt said she has fixed all the violations.
“Absolutely. It’s a safe environment,” she said.
However, the center has been shut down since Ava’s injury.
The tooth incident triggered another state inspection that revealed serious safety concerns.
The center’s voicemail message says the day care will be shut down for at least the next two weeks until it receives approval from building and fire inspectors to reopen.