Victim’s family sues Park Side Preschool and Heather Mitchell

The victim’s family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit naming First Presbyterian Church of Newark (the parent organization of Park Side Preschool) and its director Heather Mitchell. You can read the filing here.

The suit seeks damages in an unspecified amount and leaves the door open to add more defendants. It alleges that Park Side Preschool and Heather Mitchell directly caused the death by negligence. Specifically, the suit says, the defendants constructed the swing without anchoring or padding, knew or should have known it was dangerous, but still allowed children to play on it.

Park Side and Heather Mitchell did not respond to a request for comment.

Other legal inquiries

A civil lawsuit is not the only legal inquiry Park Side and Heather Mitchell face.

Newark Police Department was among the first responders to the initial 911 call. The police investigation is “still active and ongoing” according to Detective Andrew Musantry.

Finally, CCLD, the state regulator that oversees preschools, has referred Park Side to their legal division for possible administrative action. Outcomes can include losing the site license or being required to remove individuals. This process began in November and is still in progress.