Lawsuit: Goose Creek daycare with history of complaints neglected child’s injuries

VIDEO: Lawsuit: Goose Creek daycare with history of complaints neglected child’s injuries

BERKELEY COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - A new lawsuit filed Tuesday accuses a Goose Creek daycare facility of neglecting a one-year-old child with serious injuries.

Attorneys filed the lawsuit in Berkeley County, where the parents and child live.

Paul and Kayla Gombwer claim in the lawsuit their child was under the care of Harvest Time Academy when he was injured.

The suit claims when the child's parents picked him up from the facility on September 25, 2018, they noticed bruising on his body and took him to MUSC.

"The doctors at MUSC noted an indication of child abuse via injuries resulting from blunt-force trauma and diagnosed [the child] with a fractured sternum," the suit said.

According to records with the South Carolina Department of Social Services, DSS has inspected Harvest Time Academy several times since 2017.

Most inspections DSS conducted were based on complaints filed with the department.

DSS inspected 7 instances of improper supervision, 7 operating policy deficiencies and 4 instances of unauthorized or unqualified caregivers.

The owner of Harvest Time Academy said over the phone that the accident referenced in the lawsuit could not have happened under their care because the facility was not open when the child was injured.

He also said the facility has not been charged with negligence.

When asked about the number of complaints and inspections of deficiencies at the facility, the owner said every daycare facility has complaints like those.

The owner declined a formal interview before getting advice from an attorney.

Attorneys representing Harvest Time Academy released the following statement Friday evening:

After learning from the news media of a lawsuit filed on behalf of a child who was formerly enrolled at its daycare center, Harvest Time Academy, LLC, has retained Attorneys Myesha L. Brown and Margie A. Pizarro to represent its interests. While Harvest Time has not been formerly served with the lawsuit, it looks forward to responding to any allegations involving this incident, all of which have previously been investigated by the Goose Creek Police Department and the South Carolina Department of Social Services.

Harvest Time has provided child care to members of this community for the past 10 years, gaining the trust and confidence of generations of families. The center looks forward to continuing to provide quality child care for many years to come.

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