Lawsuit filed against Prattville Learning Academy owner, former director

Lawsuit filed against Prattville Learning Academy owner, former director
Shimon Epkins, who worked at Prattville Learning Academy, was charged with three counts of child abuse in August. (Source: WSFA 12 News)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - A parent of a child who attended Prattville Learning Academy is suing the facility, its owner and the former director.

The lawsuit accuses former day care director Shimon Epkins and owner Diana Campbell of negligence and mismanagement.

The lawsuit says Epkins hit, slapped, pushed and kicked the child and the facility created a hostile and abusive environment.

The plaintiff is asking for a jury trial and compensation for emotional trauma, financial losses and mental anguish.

In August, Epkins was arrested and charged with three counts of child abuse for allegedly abusing three children under five years old. Police say her actions were captured on surveillance footage. After her arrest she was terminated.

Prior to Epkins' arrest, DHR cited dozens of deficiencies dating back to June, including noncompliant staffing ratios, lack of training and suitability information on file for employees and incomplete files on the children. The documents also cited multiple safety requirements hadn’t been met, including infants' bottles not being labeled, toilets that didn’t flush, toxic cleaning products and medication were not kept under lock and key, and meals did not comply with USDA guidelines.

DHR explained in an email the deficiencies didn’t warrant adverse action, however, if any provider continues to fail to address deficiencies and shows a pattern of noncompliance, it could lead to a form of adverse action ranging from probation to license revocation.

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