A $15 million judgment against the owner of a Euclid daycare that 4-year-old Aniya Garrett attended was upheld recently by an appeals court. This judgment was upheld due to Alesia Love, the owner of Harbor Crest Childcare Academy, failing to notify authorities that Garrett was being abused. Months later, Aniya was murdered at the hands of her mother and her boyfriend.
Aniya passed away from a stroke that was caused by blunt impacts to the head, according to the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner. At the time of her death, Aniya also appeared to have scald marks all along her feet and legs, as well as a bruise near her left eye and a cut on her face. According to the daycare employees, Aniya would arrive at the daycare with various injuries, such as rug burns, black eyes, busted lips, and bruises. Aniya reportedly told the employees that her mother caused those injuries. Anyia’s mother and her boyfriend, , were convicted by a jury of aggravated murder and other charges.
Garrett’s father, Mickal Garrett, sued Love and several others in a wrongful death lawsuit that he filed in 2019. Cuyahoga County and its social workers along with a daycare facility settled with Garrett. . After Love failed to cooperate and respond to several court filings the court imposed a $15 million judgment against her. . A motion was filed by Love that asked the court to set the judgment aside, and the court complied. But, after Love failed to respond to discovery requests from Garrett’s lawyers and further participate in the case, Love was held in contempt and the judgment was reinstated
Love’s attorneys claim that Love’s lack of cooperation was due to COVID-19 guidelines. Love’s attorneys argued that she never received a copy of the complaint via certified mail because COVID-19 guidelines restricted the deliverer from making contact with her. Love’s attorneys’ response to Love failing to respond to discovery requests from Garrett’s lawyers was that the requests were not properly formatted in an editable PDF, making the requests invalid. The court rejected those arguments.
For more information on this story, check out this article from cleveland.com.