Lawsuit alleges child's injury took place at unlicensed aftercare program on city grounds

Boy, 6, suffered broken wrists, concussion in fall

SAN DIEGO - After a 6-year-old boy's tearful phone call, a local mother says she uncovered the truth behind an afterschool child care program.

More than a year later, Rowan Munteanu still remembers.

Photos show the aftermath -- a brain scan, casts on his wrists and a phone conversation that made a mother's heart sink.

"He was crying his ears off; he could barely talk to me," said Ali Koppel, Rowan's mother.

Minutes before the call, Rowan, then 6, was climbing up to get on a slide.

The afterschool program he was part of rented space from the Standley Park and Recreation Center in University City.

Witnesses say at the top of slide, Rowan slipped and fell to the ground. When Koppel got there, she said Rowan's "face was totally red … he was sweaty."

She saw the golf ball-sized swelling on Rowan's wrists, but she said she was told this by a counselor: "Take him home, give him Tylenol. He'll be fine."

Koppel didn't heed the advice. She took her son to the emergency room, where he was diagnosed with two broken wrists, broken teeth and a concussion.

She said a parent who witnessed the fall later told her nobody was watching Rowan in the playground.

"There were never any counselors there. We got to play wherever we wanted," said Rowan.

Koppel's recently filed a lawsuit against the PRC afterschool program and owner Jennifer Phillips.

"According to community care licensing policies, children ages 6-12 must be supervised at all times," said the family's attorney Carree Nahama.

In the lawsuit, there was another stunning allegation. Koppel's attorney said when the provider was inspected, it was learned it had been operating without a license for six years. Soon after, it shut down.

The suit also goes after the city of San Diego, claiming it should have made sure the program was licensed.

"It's ridiculous and scary. I just wouldn't want that to happen to anyone else. It shouldn't happen." said Koppel.

The San Diego City Attorney's Office declined to comment.

10News contacted the attorney for the afterschool program, but calls weren't returned.

Print this article Back to Top