Mothers Protest Kiddie Fight Club

     CHICAGO (CN) – Employees of an afterschool program forced little kids to fight and videotaped the fights on cell phones, two mothers claim in court.
     The mothers sued Kidz Express, its president Duane Ehresman, executive director Douglas Lowe, and their employees Octavia Dillon and Rajai Moore, in Cook County Court.
     Dillon and Moore forced the kids to fight and filmed it at Kidz Express, an afterschool program on the West Side of Chicago, the mothers say in the complaint.
     Antoinette Chambers sued on behalf of her three children, who at the time were 7, 6, and 5 years old, and Share Bryant for her 7-year-old.
     Dillon and Moore “forced and required the minor plaintiff children, Melanie Currin, Keith Currin, Kale Currin and Asharee West, to engage in fighting amongst themselves and others, including the defendant Rajai Moore’s sister, India Moore and his brother, Keith Moore,” the complaint states.
     This was on Oct. 13 and 14, 2011, according to the complaint.
     “During the course of said fighting, the defendants, Octavia Dillon and Rajai Moore, made videos of the fighting using a cell phone,” the complaint states.
     “The said minor plaintiffs, Melanie Currin, Keith Currin, Kale Currin and Asharee West, were of tender years and unable to resist or decline in the adult directions, orders and requirements to engage in such conduct.
     “The defendants, Octavia Dillon and Rajai Moore, intentionally directed, ordered and required that the minor plaintiff children in their care and protection be battered and batter others in a willful and wanton battery committed on each other’s persons.
     “The defendants, Duane Ehresman, individually and as president of Kidz Express, NFP, and Douglas Lowe, individually and as executive director of Kidz Express, failed to supervise and control the actions of their agents, servants and employees, Octavia Dillon and Rajai Moore, which allowed them to engage in the wrongful conduct set forth herein.
     “As a direct and proximate result of the one or more of the above wrongful acts by defendants, Kidz Express, Duane Ehresman, individually and as president of Kidz Express, Douglas Lowe, individually and as executive director of Kidz Express, Octavia Dillon and Rajai Moore, individually and as agents, servants and employees of Kidz Express, the said minors experienced past and future pain and suffering, past and future disability, past and future emotional distress, past and future healthcare expenses, and other loses flowing from this occurrence.”
     The mothers also accuse the company of failing to do an adequate background check on their employees.
     “The said defendants, knowing that the people hired to work with and mentor the participants in the afternoon, after-school program, would be dealing with children of tender years and therefore needed to be vetted so that nothing in their prior history or conduct would make it inappropriate for them to be left alone with the children that they would be in charge of.
     “Contrary to the duty to properly vet and hire appropriate personnel, the said defendants hired Octavia Dillon and Rajai Moore, whose background of activity and conduct made them inappropriate individuals to be left in charge of children of tender years,” the complaint states.
     The mothers seek more than $300,000 for battery, negligent hiring, negligent supervision, negligence, emotional distress, and willful and wanton conduct.
     They are represented by David Selig with Sussman, Selig & Ross.

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