Leger Ketchum & Cohoon, PLLC Represents 21 Plaintiffs in Lawsuit Against Child-Care Center
HOUSTON (November 30, 2021) – Seven families filed a lawsuit against Treehouse Academy child-care center, alleging repeated neglect and abuse of their children in 2020. Video surveillance obtained by the Crockett Police Department reveals that several employees at Treehouse Academy physically and verbally abused the children, violated the minimum standards for child-care centers required by the State of Texas, and failed to teach the agreed-upon curriculum.
Owned and operated by Lindsay McCall Rice, Treehouse Academy was cited by the State of Texas numerous times for failing to meet minimum child-care center standards. The lawsuit alleges additional violations of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission minimum standards, including not only the failure to hire qualified staff and train existing staff, but also negligence in failing to adequately supervise and manage staff. The families also allege Treehouse Academy intentionally or negligently destroyed evidence, including video surveillance of the neglect and abuse suffered by the children. This ordeal shocked the families leaving lasting effects, including diagnoses of PTSD that dramatically affects their everyday lives and leaves them uncertain of the long-term impact.
In May 2020, three Treehouse Academy employees were arrested after a parent filed a police report. One employee’s background check revealed she had a previous criminal record with charges of assault and family violence. Following the investigation, she was also found responsible for the neglectful supervision of children, among other things. The Treehouse Academy failed to disclose the other two employees’ background checks, but further investigation revealed at least one of the other employees had prior instances of criminal conduct as well.
“The owner and director of Treehouse Academy made the decision to hire these individuals despite their criminal background,” said Leger. “Regarding at least one employee, the State of Texas warned, ‘do not let this woman be alone in a classroom with children’ but Treehouse Academy ignored this warning. As a result, multiple children were terrorized and repeatedly abused for months. I intend to obtain justice for these victims and to make sure that this facility never abuses another child.”
Trial is scheduled for April 2022.
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