Complaint claims Discover Me Montessori risked child’s life due to food allergy safety violations and improper caregiver training
WATAUGA, Texas, May 2, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — A North Texas family is suing Discover Me Montessori, claiming their two-and-a-half-year-old daughter’s life was put in danger when she was given a snack containing peanuts. The girl, who suffers from severe, life-threatening food allergies, went into anaphylactic shock after eating the food the school’s caregivers gave her. The lawsuit claims the July 2022 incident was the result of the school failing to communicate the girl’s allergy to her caregivers and follow the Texas-mandated food allergy emergency plan.
Every second counts when a child suffers a severe allergic reaction. However, Discover Me Montessori waited to contact an ambulance; instead, the school notified the girl’s parents first, according to the complaint.
To make matters worse, the lawsuit states the school found an EpiPen in the girl’s backpack but caregivers inaccurately administered the life-saving medication. The suit claims caregivers were clueless because Discover Me Montessori failed to provide medical emergency response training or proper instruction for administering medication like an EpiPen, as required by state law.
While the school boasted highly qualified teachers in its marketing, an independent investigation conducted by Texas Health and Human Services and Texas Department of Family Protective Services substantiated the allegations that Discover Me Montessori violated several childcare licensing rules, according to the suit. In addition, Discover Me Montessori was cited more than eight times for safety violations ranging from inadequate caregiver training to incomplete background checks to caregivers having a lack of access to records between April 2021 and the month following the incident in 2022.
“Prevention is key when it comes to severe food allergies and children, which is why the state of Texas has strict rules in place to protect them,” says attorney Russell Button, attorney at The Button Law firm representing the young girl and her family. “This girl would not have experienced dangerous anaphylaxis if Discover Me Montessori had followed all of the requirements. It is scary to think that the outcome could have been much different for this family.”
The case is Rachard Nailon-Johnson and Mollie Nailon-Johnson, Individually and as Next Friends of C.N-J., a minor child, vs. Jones Montessori Academy, LLC, d/b/a Discover Me Montessori, Cause No. 067-341978-23 in Tarrant County, Texas.