Families sue Stewart County daycare after they gave children 30 mg of melatonin

Posted at 4:50 PM, May 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-11 20:46:45-04

INDIAN MOUND, Tenn. (WTVF) — When you drop your kid at daycare, you're trusting the center to keep your child safe. But several families are saying, the exact opposite happened at a Stewart County home daycare. A new lawsuit alleges their children were given Melatonin without their parent's consent.

"The rogue daycare owners broke the trust the parents put into them," said Rocky McElhaney, the family's attorney.

That trust was violated last month, when the Stewart County Sheriff's Office discovered Mimi's Daycare in Indian Mound was giving up to 30 mg of Melatonin at lunch.

"When the kids would be picked up, they would be lethargic, they couldn’t get them awake, the parents couldn’t get them to eat dinner. By the time the drug wore off and they were awake, they overslept and the nighttime becomes worse because of the fact they’ve done their night sleeping during the day," said McElhaney.

NewsChannel 5 is getting a better idea of how much Melatonin was given, thanks to a whistle-blower who worked inside the daycare.

"On day one of working there, she was asked to put multiple gummy bears of 10 mg of Melatonin on the trays of the children for lunch, and she refused and didn’t report the next day. She just felt like it was totally inappropriate — which it is totally inappropriate," said McElhaney.

According to the whistle-blower, she was told to give out three 10 mg doses to each child. For children under 88 pounds, that's 10 times the recommended amount.

"Every child needs to be screened medically for long-term impact, cognitive issues for this but most of these families can’t afford this type of screening," said McElhaney.

That's one of the reasons why five families and nine children at the daycare are filing a lawsuit against Mimi's Childcare. That's in addition to the criminal charges filed against four of the center's workers.

"Hopefully there will be some criminal prosecution to punish the wrongdoers and some compensation for the families for what these kids have been through," said McElhaney.

It's not too late to join the lawsuit. If your family was impacted by the daycare, click here to contact the attorney's firm.