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Byrum, daycare sued after child injured

by Andrew Maciejewski - amaciejewski@h-ponline.com

Two Huntington parents filed a civil lawsuit against Little Sprouts Daycare and former daycare director Joetta M. Byrum, after they claim their daughter broke her leg while she was left unattended, according to Huntington Circuit Court Records. 

Byrum was sentenced to pay restitution in July this year after she pleaded guilty to a Level 5 felony charge of corrupt business influence. She entered into a deferred sentence program with the court, in which she agreed to pay back more than $65,000 to Evangelical United Methodist Church, who runs Little Sprouts Daycare. 

Now, Tamara and Andrew DeHaven are seeking trial to recover compensation for injuries and damages. The complaint included that they seek compensation for medical bills and “losses in the future, as well as the loss of a whole and useful life.” They claim that the carelessness of the defendants resulted in them losing “the services and companionship of their child,” according to the complaint. 

The Dehaven’s say that on Nov. 4, 2016, said Byrum carelessly and negligently failed to properly supervise the infant, and they claim that Little Sprouts Daycare failed to develop a proper safety plan in the event of an emergency. 

Between February 2016 and December 2017, Byrum used the church’s account to buy items off Amazon, Target, DaVinci Teeth Whitening, 1-800-Contacts and Spa Cosmetics and other retailers, according to police reports. 

The officials reportedly scheduled a meeting with Byrum on Dec. 18, 2017, according to Hillman’s report. Prior to the meeting, officials reportedly requested bank records dating back to June of 2016, during which charges to Amazon, Target, DaVinci Teeth Whitening, 1-800-Contacts and Spa Cosmetics were noticed.

During their meeting with Byrum, church officials reportedly stated Byrum initially denied using the church debit card for personal expenses, according to the report.

But later in the conversation, Byrum allegedly admitted a purchase made at Trophy Center Plus was personal in nature.

Byrum’s employment was terminated following the meeting. She was reportedly told to return any receipts she had for purchases charged to the church account by Dec. 20, 2017.

Summons were issued Oct. 30, 2018 and no court date has been set.