The Government Provides “No Guarantee of Certain Minimal Levels of Safety and Security” [to Citizens It Subjugates & Controls] From [HERE] The father of Aniya Day-Garrett filed a lawsuit Wednesday accusing Cuyahoga County and two Euclid daycare centers of failing to protect the 4-year-old girl against the abuse that led to her death.
The 60-page lawsuit filed in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court names Cuyahoga County; county Executive Armond Budish; employees of the county Department of Children and Family Services; representatives of Get Ready, Set, Grow daycare; and representatives of Harbor Crest Childcare Academy daycare as defendants.
It also names Aniya’s mother, Sierra Day and her boyfriend Deonte Lewis as defendants. A Cuyahoga County judge sentenced Day and Lewis to life in prison last month after a jury convicted them of aggravated murder and other charges related to the girl’s death.
“[The] defendants ignored clear signs of abuse and neglect and failed to protect a vulnerable child dependent upon [them] for protection, breaching reasonable standards of care and their statutory obligations,” the lawsuit says. “As a result, Aniya died a brutal, excruciating, and avoidable death.”
Cuyahoga County spokeswoman Mary Louise Madigan said Wednesday afternoon that the county could not comment on the lawsuit, because it has not yet been served and thus has not had a chance to review it.
Representatives for Get Ready, Set, Grow and Harborcrest could not immediately be reached.
Garrett filed the lawsuit so he can get the “full story out” after Day and Lewis were convicted and sentenced, said Cleveland attorney Hannah Klang, who is representing him along with attorney Paul Grieco.
“The lawsuit’s been filed because there were a lot more people involved who need to take responsibility for what happened, and so we can ensure it never happens again. That’s really Mickhal’s goal," she said.
Aniya died March 11, 2018 after she suffered a stroke caused by blunt impacts to the head. She had scald marks on her feet and legs, a large bruise near her left eye and a cut on her face when she died.
Lewis and Day summoned police to the house after Aniya had stopped breathing, and her body was found dressed in a winter coat and hat, lying on the living room floor beneath a running window air-conditioning unit.
The DCFS received at least six reports that Day was abusing Aniya between Feb. 14, 2017 and March 6, 2018, but the agency and its employees failed to properly investigate those reports, Garrett’s lawsuit says.
Cuyahoga County officials said after Aniya’s death that the DCFS investigated multiple reports of abuse against the girl, but did not find enough evidence to remove her from her mother’s home.
A scathing ODJFS report found that Cuyahoga County social workers dismissed Aniya’s statements that her “mommy had hurt her,” which she made while being treated for injuries in a hospital, and allowed her to return home.
The report also found that social workers failed to follow protocols, made few face-to-face contacts with the child, ignored two years' worth of injuries reported by Aniya's daycare provider, and didn't check whether the girl's mother attended parental counseling.
Cuyahoga County officials implemented changes to Children and Family Services in the wake of Aniya’s death.
The two Euclid daycares Aniya attended before she died lost their licenses last year for failing to report signs of the girl’s abuse.
Get Ready, Set, Grow later reached a settlement agreement with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services in which it agreed to close by March 31.
The lawsuit says Get Ready, Set Grow acted negligently, and allowed Day to work at the daycare. It does not say when she worked there or specify her job.
Harborcrest employees documented at least 14 instances between Sept. 17, 2015 and May 18, 2017 where they observed bumps, bruises and other injuries on Aniya’s body, the suit says. On one occasion, Aniya told a Harborcrest employee that “her mom hit her,” the suit says.
Despite those signs, Harborcrest failed to report the injuries to police until May 18, 2017.
Day had custody of Aniya, but Garrett was actively involved in his daughter’s life and provided financial support. Day began depriving him of visits in late 2017, when he began to ask about bruises on Aniya’s body and reported his suspicions of abuse to Cleveland police, the suit says.
Day falsely accused Garrett of domestic violence in order to obtain a protection order against him, the suit says. He was petitioning to have the protection order removed when Aniya died.
Day was sentenced last month to life in prison with no chance of parole. Lewis will be eligible for parole in 20 years.
Aniya lost her motor skills over time, stopped eating and became so emaciated that she lost the strength to walk and her pancreas started to digest itself after she suffered a stroke triggered by a blow to her head at least several weeks before her death, according to trial testimony.
Neither Day nor Lewis called a doctor as the girl wasted away in a bed soaked with her own urine, prosecutors said.
Garrett called Day and Lewis “monsters” during their sentencing hearing.
Garrett is seeking a jury trial and more than $25,000 in damages, the lawsuit says. The case is assigned to Judge Emily Hagan.