After enduring what has been called “every parent’s worst nightmare,” Dyanna and Christopher Ko have filed a lawsuit against their former nanny and the company who employed her after witnessing the woman abusing their special needs child via a nanny cam.
On April 22, 2017, the Kos and their two eldest sons were at a youth baseball tournament about 20 minutes from their home. Their 2-year-old special needs son Landon was at home, being cared for by home-care nurse Thelma Manalastas.
Landon suffers from Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome. This rare genetic condition can cause an assortment of physical and intellectual disabilities. In Landon’s case, he is non-verbal, blind in one eye, must eat using a feeding tube, and requires 24-hour care.
Using a nanny cam app installed on her smart phone, Dyana decided to check in on Landon.
What she saw shocked her.
The Kos watched in horror as Manalastas, the nurse who was supposed to be caring for Landon, was smacking, pinching and at one point even hitting the child with a rolled-up magazine.
“Just to see him so helpless, it was heart-wrenching,” Christopher Ko told CBS Los Angeles. “We had to force ourselves to watch it live.”
As they raced home, the Kos called 911.
When Dyana and Christopher arrived at their home and showed the police the videos on their cell phones, the police immediately arrested Manalastas and led her away in handcuffs.
Manalastas was employed by Maxim Healthcare Services, the fifth-largest healthcare staffing company in the country. It has hundreds of locations – with 22 locations in Los Angeles County area alone – and thousands of employees all over the U.S.
The company released a statement in response to the incident.
“Upon learning of this incident, we conducted an investigation that resulted in the termination of Ms. Manalastas’ employment with Maxim. We have notified the California Board of Nursing and will continue to fully cooperate with the authorities as they investigate this matter.”
The Kos weren’t satisfied with the company’s statement, especially after learning Manalastas has a criminal record, something Maxim neglected to tell them. They have filed a lawsuit against the company and the nanny.
The Manhattan Beach personal injury lawyers and business litigation attorneys at Dinsmore & Sandelmann, LLP have been fighting on behalf of Southern California families like the Kos for over 25 years.
Dinsmore & Sandelmann was featured on ABC, CBS & CNN where Attorney Scott Sandelmann was asked to give his thoughts on this case. “In my decades of practicing law, I can’t say I’ve ever seen such horrific behavior against a beautiful, young, special needs child,” said Mr. Dinsmore. “We must always fight to protect the most vulnerable members of society, especially in an egregious case like this – a defenseless special needs 2-year old lacking the ability to communicate that he is being abused.”
A verdict in the Ko’s favor will encourage companies like Maxim to more carefully screen and train their employees, hopefully preventing incidents like this from happening in the future.
The Manhattan Beach personal injury lawyers attorneys at Dinsmore & Sandelmann, LLP have been fighting on behalf of Southern California families like the Kos for over 25 years. If you need assistance with a personal injury matter, call us today at (310) 318-1220.