The parents of a toddler, who died after he was found lying unresponsive on a toy bin, have filed a lawsuit against the daycare center in Island Lake where the incident happened.
Chicago-based Clifford Law Offices filed the lawsuit in McHenry County Circuit Court last week.
The suit stems from an incident that occurred around 8:46 a.m. on April 25 at Lots of Tots ChildCare, 202 West Burnett Road in Island Lake.
Island Lake Police Chief Jennifer Paulus said at the time that officers received a 911 call for an unresponsive toddler inside the facility.
Officers arrived to find a 23-month-old boy, who was an Island Lake resident, unresponsive and not breathing.
A staff member was performing CPR on the child and officers took over lifesaving efforts, Paulus said.
The Wauconda Fire Department arrived and rushed the child to Northwestern Medicine Hospital in McHenry.
The toddler was later transferred to Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago.
The boy was pronounced dead around 8:50 a.m. on April 29.
An autopsy was later performed by the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office.
The child was identified as Calum Wells Dudakiw-Warrick, of Island Lake. The medical examiner said the child’s organs were donated to Gift of Hope.
In August, almost four months after the incident, the medical examiner’s office ruled Dudakiw-Warrick’s cause of death as undetermined. The office also listed the boy’s manner of death as undetermined.
Paulus told Lake and McHenry County Scanner in April that the police department did not suspect the death to be a homicide.
Detectives learned the toddler had been found with his neck lying on the edge of a toy bin.
Paulus said the police department had not been called to the daycare before for any type of abuse or neglect reports involving the facility itself.
No charges have been filed against anyone at the facility and the investigation by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) has been closed.
Illinois DCFS Director of Communications Heather Tarczan told Lake and McHenry County Scanner that the investigation did not identify a specific person who was responsible for the death.
Investigators found there was an “unknown alleged perpetrator” and inadequate supervision.
Tarczan said the investigation can be reopened if a person responsible is identified.
“Any time the life of a child is lost, it is a profound tragedy and our hearts break for Calum and his family,” Tarczan said.
Cary resident Nichole Felton, who is a family friend, said the unexpected death was an “unimaginable loss that no parent could prepare for and should never have to endure.”
“Our dear friends Felicia and John Paul are experiencing a parents worst nightmare as they grieve the unexpected and tragic loss of their sweet almost 2 year old son Calum,” Felton said.
Felton said the couple’s day started normally with “sweet smiles and squishy hugs” before they later received the “worst phone call any parent could receive.”
An obituary for Dudakiw-Warrick said the boy was a “loving, funny, and spirited young boy” who “brought immense joy and laughter to everyone who had the privilege of knowing him.”
The lawsuit filed last week names Lots of Tots ChildCare Inc. and Christine Crutchfield, who was the president and director of the business, as defendants.
James C. Pullos, who is representing the parents of the child, said in the suit that the company and Crutchfield had a duty to protect Dudakiw-Warrick from choking and asphyxiation hazards while he was in their care.
The attorney said the defendants were negligent and failed to monitor and train their employees on the required care and treatment of infant children.
The suit also listed numerous other reasons that the defendants were allegedly negligent, including failing to supervise Dudakiw-Warrick and failing “to continuously remain on the premises of the day care during the assigned shift.”
The first scheduled court hearing in the case is set for February 1, court records show.