(CBS) — A mother speaks out after her disabled daughter was battered by a nurse in 2013.
CBS 2 Investigator Dave Savini looks into the nurse’s background and a school’s failure to act quickly to protect the child.
Veniscia Humphrey’s daughter, Teniscia, has cerebral palsy. She relied on a nurse who accompanied her to school daily and the staff at a Chicago Heights school she attended to protect her.
“She’s defenseless and she depended on them to look out for her while she’s in their care,” Veniscia Humphrey says.
She alleges her daughter, then five years old, was abused by her personal nurse, Theresa Lilly-Dale.
“She slammed her up and down in her wheelchair,” Humphrey says. “She did these things, and my daughter cannot even speak or talk to tell me.”
Humphrey says several employees in the SPEED School witnessed the abuse, but failed to call police.
“She was in a stroller and people saw the nurse smacking her in the face,” the parent says. “Hitting her repeatedly and picking her up and slamming her down.”
Humphrey filed a lawsuit against the nurse and the nursing agency, PSA Pediatric Services of America.
“The scary thing about this is the school allowed this nurse to ride home with this child after school officials saw the child being attacked,” Humprey’s attorney, Mark McKenna, says.
McKenna says school incident reports show staff members watched through a window as Teniscia was struck by the nurse around 11 a.m. But they failed to call the girl’s mother for an hour and 40 minutes.
“You need to call police immediately,” McKenna says. “This is a crime that’s taken place.”
Says Humphrey: “I was very angry, mad, wondering why you didn’t call the police when somebody’s been physically harmed, why you didn’t have the bus stopped by the police.”
She called police, and Theresa Lilly-Dale was ultimately convicted of battery. Humphrey says Lilly-Dale never should have been working for the private nursing agency the state hired. The nurse’s record included two felony convictions for fraud and theft and arrests for assault with a weapon and criminal damage to property.
School officials reported the battery to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services – but waited more than an hour after it happened.
School officials say this happened under a different administration and now, if they see a crime, they call police.
Pediatric Services of America has not commented.
Theresa Lilly-Dale’s nursing license has been revoked. She declined to comment on the specifics of the lawsuit but says she did nothing wrong.