CHARLESTON -- A Charleston woman is suing her estranged husband and Good Shepherd Child Development Center after she claims her child was injured at daycare.

On Aug. 14, 2009, Megan L. White signed her then 3-year-old son into the daycare center, according to a complaint filed Aug. 17 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

White claims later that day she called the daycare regarding a financial matter and was told by a staff member that her son was complainting that his arm hurt, but "not to come pick him up 'because he tells stories.'"

White left her place of employment immediately and went to the daycare. She claims she immediately noticed her son's right shoulder did not appear normal, so she took him to the hospital.

After checking her son into the hospital, White asked the hospital staff to call the police and investigate the injury, according to the suit.

White claims the hospital staff determined her son sustained a broken right collar bone, placed it in a sling and discharged him from the hospital.

That evening, White called her estranged husband, Benjamin B. Nettles, to inform him of their son's injury, according to the suit.

White claims Nettles became angry, "cursing and abusing" her and demanded to speak to their son. She claims when she held the phone to their son's ear, she heard Nettles repeatedly say to their son, "'Mommy did this to you, didn't she?'" and eventually the child said yes.

Another individual was present and also heard Nettles repeatedly make the same statement, according to the suit.

On Aug. 15, 2009, White claims Nettles picked their son up from White's residence for court ordered vacation time.

On Aug. 19, 2009, White and Nettles met at the office of Bone & Joint Surgeons, Inc., and Dr. Jason A. Castle informed both parties that the child sustained a broken right collar bone, but that it had probably occurred at the daycare center and not at White's residence, according to the suit.

White claims despite this, Nettles maliciously and without just cause, filed a domestic violence petition against her. White claims she was not allowed to have contact with her son until after a hearing was scheduled and that the Charleston Police Department became involved in the investigation.

As a result of Nettles' false accusation of child abuse and false statements made by the daycare center, White was arrested and charged with felony child abuse, was identified in a Charleston newspaper and was subjected to intense investigation by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources-Child Protective Services, according to the suit.

White claims the criminal charges were dismissed on Sept. 11, 2009, and that the family court dismissed the domestic violence petition on Nov. 10, 2009.

The daycare center was untruthful with regard to White's son being injured when he was signed into daycare and was responsible for the aftermath White endured, according to the suit.

White is seeking compensatory and punitive damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. She is being represented by Clinton W. Smith.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Louis H. Bloom.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 11-C-1383

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