UPDATE (December 7, 2018): Authorities report that Wiese’s nursing license was suspended in 2015. Reports claim that due to substance abuse issues, the state board deemed that “there exists serious risks to public health and safety due to use of controlled substances or chemical dependency.” Authorities also say that Wiese may have been involved in abuse incidents dating back 2 years. These allegations remain under investigation.

McKinney, TX — December 3, 2018, a 2-month-old child sustained serious injuries and an employee faces charges following an incident at a day care center.

Investigators with the McKinney Police Department say that the incident occurred recently at Joyous Montessori, which is located at 6800 Bountiful Grove Drive.

Authorities allege that a day care employee, Jessica Joy Wiese inflicted serious injuries to 2-month-old Kairo, the child of Aerial Murphy and Donovan Grant. According to reports, the child’s parents took him to the hospital after noticing marks on the child. The day care reportedly called it a sudden birth mark initially, then described a, “rough diaper change,” incident.

After the child was taken to a hospital, tests showed Kairo had fractured ribs, a fractured ankle, and a fractured femur. Doctors also said the child had a wrist injury that appeared to be healing.

Following examination of surveillance footage inside the day care, police arrested day care employee Jessica Joy Wiese on a charge of injury to a child. There are also investigations into other possible abuse incidents to other children.

In a statement to the media, Joyous Montessori said that they always conduct background checks and that Wiese passed them. They made no other statements about what happened.

At this time, police continue to investigate the incident.

Map of the Area

Commentary

It amazes me that anytime an employee commits horrifying acts to someone, the company almost always releases a statement that refutes at least one way they could be responsible for the incident. Here, it seems the day care made it promptly visible that they conduct background checks and did so with this woman as well. If that’s true, and those checks complied with industry standards, then it would be a solid defense if someone were to allege that the day care’s negligence contributed to this child’s injuries. That said, this strategy is an example of rhetorical and legal sleight of hand.

While hiring practices should be scrutinized, most people tend to be more interested in who the hell was watching over this employee while she worked with these children. The legal term of art that deals with this is Negligent Supervision. Employers generally have a duty to oversee their employees so that they don’t cause harm to others. If an employer fails this duty, they’re just as liable for an incident as if they were the ones who did it themselves.

The most important promise that a day care makes to parents is that they will keep their child safe. That doesn’t just mean child-proofing cabinets and babysitting the kids. It also means they have to watch over the people they employee to make sure they don’t harm the children.

UPDATE (December 7, 2018): These new details are incredibly disturbing, if true. I discussed yesterday the legal notion of Negligent Supervision. These new details certainly appear to fit the bill, so to speak. The news says there is video evidence clearly showing the accused striking and slamming infants under her care. So if that’s true, how in the world did the day care center supervisors miss this? Any properly managed day care center would be in a situation that not only should they have seen the incident happen, they should’ve been in a good position to intervene. So why didn’t that happen here? How did no one see this alleged video footage until it was too late? There still needs to be more concrete information to call this a case of negligent supervision, but so far all the red flags are there.

–Grossman Law Offices

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