Divino Nino, a daycare facility in the Bronx, is at the center of a firestorm after four children were hospitalized due to fentanyl exposure. One-year-old Nicholas Dominici died, and three other children suffered acute opioid intoxication.
New York attorneys Ronemus & Vilensky are representing the families of two of the children poisoned at the daycare center – an eight-month-old girl and a two-year-old boy – in a legal case involving the state of New York, the city of New York, the New York State Department of Health and Human Resources, and the Administration for Children’s Services.
Social Worker Restricted Access to Daycare Center
A social worker told the eight-month-old baby’s family that Divino Nino was the only daycare center available for their child. During the day, the social worker showed the family recordings of the center and the baby, but they were kept from entering the facility during pickups or drop-offs. They dropped the baby off and picked her up at the facility’s door.
The social worker called the baby’s mother on September 15 to pick up her daughter because something was wrong. When the mother arrived, her baby was blue. Distraught, the mother started CPR on her daughter and phoned the police and first responders. Her daughter was rushed to the emergency hospital, where fentanyl was discovered in her bloodstream. The social worker’s actions shocked the girl’s mother, who had not phoned an ambulance or the police upon noticing her daughter’s distress state.
The two-year-old boy’s parents related a similar story to the baby’s mother. The social worker told the family they could not enter Divino Nino. The parents had the distinct impression that the social worker was either receiving kickbacks from the owners of the daycare center since she was sending the videos of the kids during the day or was even more involved in the facility’s covert business. The boy was at the daycare for only four days when the mother questioned why her son was asleep each time he appeared on video. When the mother picked her son up on September 15, he didn’t wake up and couldn’t even walk. Fentanyl was also found in the boy’s system at the ER.
Daycare Center Used as Drug Trafficking Den
The owner of the Divino Nino, her husband, and two associates were arrested. According to a CNN report, they are mid-level drug dealers who would blend fentanyl with other drugs or even household items like baby powder, utilizing the pressing machines found in the daycare center to pack the drugs and get them ready for distributors. According to court filings, police found a kilo of the toxic and potent drug on top of children’s play mats, and more fentanyl was discovered beneath trap doors within the area where the children played and slept at the daycare facility.
Prosecutors say they used the daycare center as a front in their fentanyl trafficking operation. According to authorities, the husband was spotted on security camera taking shopping bags and rushing from the daycare out a back passageway before first responders arrived to care for the ailing children.
About Ronemus & Vilensky
As the most experienced personal injury law firm in the greater New York City metro area, the attorneys at Ronemus & Vilensky have been called upon numerous times to provide competent legal advice and counsel and help victims recover damages. We have procured millions of dollars for our clients.