Saint Paul Daycare Abuse Lawyers

When a parent discovers his or her child suffered abuse at a daycare center, talking to a licensed attorney can be an important step to take. The abuser, administrators or others may be held responsible for injuries your child may have sustained, and our attorneys know how to pursue damages in these kinds of claims. In a case pursued by partners Rich Ruohonen and Chuck Slane, our firm secured a $13.5 million verdict on behalf of a three-year-old who suffered physical and sexual abuse at a Minnesota daycare. Slane is a board-certified civil trial advocate and Ruohonen has been selected for Super Lawyers each year from 2003 to 2019.

We understand compensation does not change what happened, but it can be important as families look to move forward and help protect other children from similar types of abuse.

There is no charge for having your claim reviewed by one of our experienced attorneys. There is also no obligation to take legal action, and if you have a case, there are no upfront fees for our representation.

Call anytime to set up a free consultation at a time that works for you. (612) TSR-TIME

Do I Have a Daycare Abuse Case?

This is a complicated question to answer because there are so many aspects of a daycare abuse case. For example, who could be held liable for your child’s injuries?

The perpetrator may not be the only one to hold liability. The administrators/supervisors could also hold liability for failing to monitor the staff member or for hiring someone who did not pass a background check.

The owner of the facility could also hold liability for damages, because he or she is ultimately responsible for what goes on at the facility, even though others run the day-to-day operations.

Generally, daycare abuse cases are filed under the legal theory of negligence, which has four elements that must be proven:

  • Duty of care was owed to your child – The at-fault party had a duty to take reasonable action to prevent your child from getting hurt, such as hiring qualified staff members, keeping the facility adequately staffed and providing adequate security. We may simply need to show you signed documents stating you were allowing the facility to watch your child in exchange for payment.
  • Duty of care was breached – The liable parties did not uphold the duty of care. Maybe they violated state regulations or failed to monitor staff members to ensure children were safe.
  • Causal link between injuries and breached duty of care – Your child would have been unharmed if not for the breach of duty of care. The breach must have directly led to injuries, otherwise there is no case.
  • Existence of damages – The injuries your child suffered led to damages, like medical expenses and pain and suffering.

Unsure if you have a case? Call a St. Paul daycare abuse attorney for a free consultation. (612) TSR-TIME

Can I Pursue a Case If I Signed a Liability Waiver?

The short answer is “yes”. Liability waivers often do not hold up when challenged in court. Daycare facilities should not be able to avoid any liability for injuries to children under their care.

Facilities often have parents sign liability waivers when they enter into an agreement to have the facility watch their child. Administrators may be hoping parents will sign these and think they have no legal options if their child suffers an injury.

It is important to contact a licensed attorney to discuss the liability waiver you signed and whether you may be able to take legal action.

Causes of Abuse and Neglect in Daycare Centers

There are some common reasons why neglect or abuse occur at daycare facilities, and they could be used as examples of negligence in a legal claim.

Failure to Follow Regulations

Minnesota has many regulations for daycare facilities, governing how children must be treated (discipline, providing food and water, infant care, etc.), fire safety, training for caregivers and many other aspects of the services daycare centers provide. If our attorneys can prove regulations were violated and this led to an injury, you may have a case.


Daycare centers may want to save money by hiring fewer staff members. However, this puts a tremendous strain on the staff members who are there, who may struggle to properly monitor all the children and keep them out of harm’s way. If a child is left unsupervised, he or she could be abused by another child or even another staff member.

Poor Supervision

Staff members may be unqualified, poorly trained or simply failing to do their jobs properly. This can lead to children getting into a variety of dangerous situations.

Negligent Hiring

Daycare staff members must have certain qualifications and training, and if they do not, the risk of abuse or neglect of children could increase. Administrators and others responsible for hiring could choose unqualified staff members because they failed to do a proper background or reference check. Unqualified staff members may not be able to handle an emergency properly, possibly resulting in severe or life-threatening injuries to a child.

Lack of Adequate Security

Children could suffer abuse from people outside the facility if it is improperly secured. Children may also be able to get outside the facility and put themselves in harm’s way.

There could be a variety of reasons why abuse or neglect occur. Our attorneys are prepared to review your situation to determine if negligence may have existed in your situation.

State Regulations for Daycare Centers

Our St. Paul daycare abuse lawyers have extensive knowledge of Minnesota regulations on daycare centers. If we can prove a facility violated regulations, we may be able to pursue compensation for your child’s damages.

Minnesota law defines a daycare center as a child care program operating during normal waking hours. The child care program must be in operation more than 30 days in a 12-month period and provide care to a child for more than 45 hours in a calendar month.

Unless a facility qualifies for an exclusion, it must be licensed by the Department of Human Services commission.

Daycare facilities must have spaces designated for different things, such as:

  • Shielding of radiators, fireplaces, hot pipes or other hot surfaces
  • Hand sinks for children not used for custodial work or food preparation
  • Minimum temperature of 68 degrees in indoor areas that will be used by children
  • Storage for every child’s clothing and personal belongings
  • Outdoor activity area of at least 1,500 square feet
  • Space for children to go if they become sick

Facilities must make hazardous areas, such as water hazards, kitchens and stairs inaccessible to children.

State regulations prohibit physical punishment of children, such as slapping, spanking, shoving, pinching or kicking. Staff members also cannot call children names, threaten or humiliate them.

Our attorneys may use a previous citation for a rule violation as evidence of negligence in your case, if the same regulation was violated.

Have questions about the legal process? Call TSR Injury Law for a free consultation.

Examples of Daycare Abuse

Child abuse at a daycare center usually falls into one of four categories:

Physical Child Abuse

This may involve punching, hitting, slapping, pulling of hair or some other type of physical violence. The abuse may have been perpetrated by a staff member or even another child.

If you notice bruises, aggression, fear of going to the daycare center, withdrawal from social situations, these could be signs your child has suffered physical abuse.


Is your child not getting enough food or water while staying at the daycare? Are staff members giving your child the medications his or her doctor prescribed? If your child is unusually hungry or tired when you pick him or her up, staff members may be neglecting him or her.

If your child was injured and staff members did not tell you or are not giving you much information, they could be trying to hide negligent supervision.

Emotional Abuse

When staff members threaten or intimidate children, it can lead to may psychological problems. Your child may have nightmares, start wetting the bed, struggle with self esteem and confidence, or regress to a previous stage of development that might include sucking his or her thumb.

Sexual Abuse

If your child seems unusually withdrawn, starts talking to you about a much older friend, scratches his or her genital area, or struggles with his or her body image, these could all be signs of sexual abuse. Your child may be afraid to say anything out of shame or because he or she has been intimidated or threatened by the abuser.

How to Report Daycare Abuse in Minnesota

Whenever your child is in physical danger, you can call 9-1-1 to report it to the police. They can investigate and get your child out of harm’s way.

It is also important to report what happened to the Department of Human Services. They can begin an investigation that may provide valuable evidence in a civil claim for damages.

Call a Saint Paul Daycare Abuse Lawyer to Discuss Your Claim

For more than 20 years representing Minnesota injury victims, our legal team has obtained $300 million in compensation.

Our team of investigators, paralegals and support staff is prepared to go to work pursuing justice and fair compensation. We understand how devastating daycare abuse can be and how important compensation can be as families work through the damages they have experienced.

Your consultation is free of charge and comes with no obligation to take legal action. If you hire our firm, there will be no upfront fees for our services. We do not get paid unless you get paid first.

TSR Injury Law: (612) TSR-TIME. We are here to help.

Minneapolis Daycare Abuse Lawyers

When daycare center staff members are careless or abusive toward the children under their care, children can suffer severe or even life-threatening injuries. Abuse, whether physical or sexual, can leave a child emotionally scarred for the rest of his or her life.

When a child suffers abuse or is neglected at a daycare center, it is important for parents to discuss the situation with a licensed attorney. The Minneapolis daycare abuse lawyers at TSR Injury Law offer a free initial consultation to discuss your situation and determine if you may be eligible for legal action. We know compensation can never erase what happened, but it can be an important part of the process of moving forward. Taking legal action could also help protect other children from abuse.

Partner Rich Ruohonen recovered $13.5 million on behalf of a three-year-old boy who was physically and sexually assaulted at a daycare center in Minnesota. Ruohonen was selected to Minnesota Super Lawyers each year from 2003 to 2018.

Our attorneys do not collect any upfront fees for providing legal services. We do not get paid unless our clients do first.

You can contact our firm any time, day or night by phone, online case form or live chat.

Call TSR Injury Law to discuss possible legal options. (612) TSR-TIME

Who Could be Held Liable for Daycare Abuse or Negligence?

One of the many factors our attorneys need to consider when determining if you may have a case is who could be held liable for your child’s injuries and damages.

The perpetrator of the abuse may not be the only one liable. The administrator of the facility could also have some liability, in addition to the company or individual who owns the facility.

To prove liability for a personal injury, our attorneys generally need to establish the four elements of negligence:

  • Duty of care – Your attorney must establish the at-fault party or parties owed your child a duty to take reasonable steps to prevent him or her from getting injured. Generally, once you have entered into an agreement to pay a facility to watch your child, a duty of care has been established. Reasonable steps might include following daycare regulations or employing enough staff members to watch all the children.
  • Breach of duty of care – This means the at-fault party failed to uphold a duty owed to your child. For example, maybe he or she violated state regulations on daycare facilities and the care they are supposed to provide to children. Maybe the administrator of the facility hired someone who was unqualified or allowed the facility to be understaffed.
  • Causation – Our Minneapolis daycare abuse lawyers must show a link between the breached duty of care and the injuries that occurred – the injuries would not have occurred unless the duty of care was breached.
  • Damages – You must show your child suffered economic or non-economic damages (medical bills, pain and suffering, etc.).

You can discuss your situation in a free initial consultation. Call our firm today at (612) TSR-TIME.

Are Daycare Centers Shielded from Liability?

When you chose a daycare center for your child, you probably had to sign a liability waiver which said the provider is not liable for injuries that occur on the property. This causes some parents to believe they cannot pursue a claim against the facility if their child gets hurt because of negligence.

However, these waivers often do not hold up in court. It is not reasonable for facilities to avoid any responsibility for injuries to children.

If your child was abused or neglected, it is important to discuss the situation with a qualified attorney to learn about possible legal options.

Why Abuse and Neglect Occur at Daycare Centers

There are many reasons why abuse and neglect can happen, and they may give parents of abused children grounds to take legal action.

Some of these reasons could include:

  • Understaffing – If the daycare does not have enough staff members to monitor all the children, a child could get into a dangerous situation and get hurt. There could be situations where one child physically abuses another, and staffers allow it to happen because no employees were aware it was happening. Young children could put things in their mouths and choke because no one was watching.
  • Unqualified staff – Staff members may not have been properly trained or have the required qualifications. For example, if a staff member is not qualified to give a child a medication, he or she could commit a medication error and put the child’s life in danger. A child could also suffer an injury that becomes much worse than it should because staff members do not handle it properly, such as by not providing proper first aid.
  • Violations of safety regulations – There are various safety regulations that apply to a daycare center, including fire safety regulations and regulations on the treatment of children being cared for. If regulations were violated and your child was injured because of it, you may have grounds for legal action.
  • Negligent supervision – This could be because of understaffing, but it could also be because staff members simply did not do their jobs and watch the children carefully enough.
  • Poor security – The facility needs to be secure to prevent people who are not supposed to be in there from getting inside and potentially harming the children. Staff members also need to be sure children cannot leave and put themselves in harm’s way.

If your child suffered abuse or neglect that you believe could have and should have been prevented, call our Minneapolis daycare abuse lawyers for a free consultation. We are here to help.

Minnesota Regulations for Daycare Centers

Minnesota has many regulations for daycare centers that are designed to keep children safe and ensure they are being properly cared for. If regulations are not followed and children suffer injuries, our attorneys may be able to cite these regulations to help bolster your case.

Under Minnesota Administrative Rules Part 9503.0010, a daycare program is a child care program during normal waking hours, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. The program must operate more than 30 days in a 12-month period, providing care to children.

Minnesota requires daycare facilities to be licensed, unless the facility is of a type that is specifically excluded from licensing requirements by law. It is a misdemeanor to operate an unlicensed program and a court order can be obtained to stop the facility from operating if:

  • The people in charge of the facility failed to apply for a license after receiving notice a license is required
  • The facility was still in operation after a license was revoked or suspended and a final order was issued confirming the revocation or suspension
  • The facility was still in operation after a temporary suspension had been issued

Minnesota also has specific regulations on what a daycare facility must have, including things like:

  • Space for children who become sick
  • Outdoor activity area
  • Shielding of hot surfaces like radiators, fireplaces, hot pipes and other hot surfaces
  • Shielding of electrical outlets
  • One toilet and hand sink for each 15 children, sinks cannot be used for custodial work or food preparation

Daycare facilities must also follow state regulations in disciplining of children. Staff members cannot subject children to physical punishment, such as:

  • Slapping
  • Spanking
  • Kicking
  • Ear pulling
  • Hair pulling
  • Shoving
  • Pinching
  • Hitting

Emotion abuse is also prohibited:

  • Name calling
  • Shaming
  • Threatening or humiliating language

Children cannot be separated from the group unless staff members have tried less intrusive methods of guiding the child’s behavior.

Minnesota also has regulations on food and water, infant diets, food allergies, children with developmental disabilities and handling infants.

If your child was injured because of a violation of state regulations, and the facility was previously cited for a violation of the same regulation, it may be easier to prove negligence occurred. This is because if a code was violated once, it is more likely a facility may violate that same code again in the future. The previous citation can be used as evidence of negligence in your child’s injury.

The trusted attorneys at TSR Injury Law have extensive knowledge of these regulations and how they apply to individual cases. We welcome the chance to discuss your claim in a free consultation.

Types and Signs of Daycare Abuse and Neglect

If your child suffered any form of abuse, you can call our Minneapolis daycare abuse lawyers for a free consultation.

There are generally three main types of daycare abuse children can suffer:

Physical Abuse

This could include hitting, spanking, slapping, pinching or hair or ear pulling. Children could be hit with objects, such as rulers, belts or hangers.

Some signs of physical abuse you should be aware of include:

  • Bruises or cuts
  • Frequent crying
  • Fear of going to daycare
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Trying to run away when at daycare
  • Appearing socially withdrawn

Emotional Abuse

This can include name-calling, shaming, humiliation in front of the other kids, threats, hitting things by the child in anger. This can scare the child and lead to psychological problems that could last a long time.

Signs of emotional abuse in your child may include:

  • Regression to a previous stage of development, such as rocking or thumb sucking
  • Nightmares
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Lack of pride or confidence
  • Strong changes in behavior

Sexual Abuse

This happens a lot more than people realize, and the abuser can use psychological manipulation to try to keep the child quiet. If a facility is understaffed or not properly monitoring children, abuse could go on for a significant amount of time.

There are many signs of sexual abuse to watch for, including:

  • Scratching the genital area
  • Social withdrawal
  • Sexual nightmares
  • Having a negative body image
  • Telling you about a new friend who is older than they are

Call a Minneapolis daycare abuse attorney for a free legal consultation. (612) TSR-TIME

Reporting Daycare Abuse

If your child has been abused and it is an emergency, call 9-1-1 to alert the police so they can investigate and if necessary, arrest the perpetrator to get him or her away from your child and other children at the daycare.

You should also report child abuse to the child protection agency in your county. There is a list of numbers for each county in Minnesota on the Department of Human Services website.

It is important to alert the authorities right away so they can begin investigating. The information they collect may help us strengthen your claim.

Contact a Minneapolis Daycare Abuse Lawyer Today

The experienced attorneys at TSR Injury Law have a proven track record of recovering fair compensation for injury victims in Minnesota. We have recovered $300 million in compensation over more than 20 years of service to injury clients.

We know how devastating it can be for parents to find out their child suffered abuse or neglect at a daycare center. Our Minneapolis daycare abuse attorneys are prepared to help you pursue justice on your child’s behalf.

The consultation with our attorneys is absolutely free and there is no obligation to take legal action so there is no risk. Our attorneys are not paid unless you receive compensation at the end of the legal process.

Call our firm today to discuss your claim. Ph: (612) TSR-TIME

Bloomington Daycare Abuse Attorney

When parents engage the services of a daycare provider, they assume their children will be well-cared-for and safe. If a child is injured because a facility or caregiver was negligent or purposely abusive, you may be eligible to take legal action to recover damages.

Our Bloomington daycare abuse lawyers understand the anger and deep emotional distress experienced by parents of children abused while at daycare. We secured a $13.5 million verdict on behalf of a three-year-old boy who suffered both sexual and physical abuse at a daycare facility. TSR partners, Rich Ruohonen and Chuck Slane were selected as Minnesota Attorneys of the year in 2016 for their dedication in pursuing justice for this child and his family.

If you suspect that your child is a victim of neglect or abuse at the hands of a Minnesota daycare center, we are prepared to help. Contact our offices to schedule a completely free and confidential consultation to review the details of your situation and learn what legal options may enable you to pursue justice and compensation for your child. Since we operate on contingency, we do not collect any attorney fees unless we win money for you.

Call our offices now – or anytime, day or night. Our phone lines are always open. Ph: (612) TSR-TIME

Do I Have a Case Against the Daycare Provider?

Proving a daycare provider or caregiver is liable for your child’s injury is not easy. There are certain elements that your attorney must prove in order to establish that your child’s caregiver acted negligently:

  • Duty of care – Proof that a daycare center or individual owed your child a duty of care.
  • Breach of duty of care – Proof that the caregiver breached the duty of care owed to your child.
  • Causal link – Proof that the breach of duty of care caused your child to sustain injuries.
  • Foreseeable – Proof that the injury should have been foreseen by the caregiver.
  • Proof of the extent of your child’s injuries – Supporting evidence that shows how the injury occurred and that the daycare facility or individual provider was responsible for your child’s injuries.

It is also worth mentioning that if a licensed daycare center receives a citation during an inspection, and your child is later injured at that facility in a manner that relates to the original violation, your Bloomington daycare abuse lawyer may be able to use it as evidence to strengthen your case for negligence. It may also benefit your case if you can prove the previous citation was never sufficiently addressed.

Can I File a Lawsuit if I Signed a Liability Waiver?

Childcare facilities often make parents sign a liability waiver prior to enrollment. Parents may believe this prohibits them from taking legal action if their child suffers an injury.

However, these waivers usually do not hold up in court. They are simply a tool that is used to intimidate parents into thinking they have no right to take legal action if an injury occurs.

Whether you signed a liability waiver or not, you should discuss your situation with a licensed Bloomington daycare abuse attorney.

Who May Be Liable for Daycare Abuse or Neglect?

In Minnesota, there are many parties that could be liable for neglect, injuries or other forms of daycare abuse that a child sustains while under the care of a licensed daycare center, including:

  • Individual residential or non-residential caregivers
  • Volunteer associations
  • Corporations or partnerships
  • Any other residential or non-residential facility that provides care to children under the age of 14 for any part of a 24-hour day on a regular basis

What Are The Minimum State Laws For a Daycare Facility in Minnesota?

Daycare providers in Minnesota are required by law to maintain a reasonable standard of care, and it is the duty of that provider to extend that duty of care to each child enrolled at that facility. At a minimum, there is an expectation that the daycare center will provide:

  • The state-mandated caregiver to child ratio
  • Appropriate medical care with easy access to a first aid kit
  • Trained staff who meet all state credentialing and educational requirements appropriate for their role and who have also obtained basic first aid and CPR certifications prior to starting to work
  • Proper daily nutrition
  • Regular and adequate access to water
  • The facility, and extended grounds of the facility, must meet all state requirements for a safe and clean environment as defined in Minnesota Administrative Rules 9503.0155

If the facility responsible for your child’s care fails to meet these standards, you may be eligible to pursue compensation for any harm he or she has suffered.

Minnesota requires all residential and non-residential daycare facilities to obtain and maintain a license. There are a few exemptions to that requirement, such as when the caregiver is a relative. However, unless a childcare facility or individual caregiver qualifies as an exception, it is a misdemeanor in Minnesota to operate as a daycare facility without a license and a court order may be obtained to stop a non-licensed facility from operating.

Call our office today to learn about your legal options. Ph: (612) TSR-TIME

Types of Daycare Abuse

There are many types of injuries a child may suffer at the hands of a caregiver. The injuries may not always be physical, but any type of psychological injury can be equally traumatic to a child:

  • Caregiver Negligence – If staff fail to supervise or properly care for children, serious, sometimes life-threatening injuries may occur.
  • Injury Due to Safety Code Violations – Sharp corners, uncovered electrical outlets, improperly secured furniture, unsafe play areas can all lead to injuries, especially for small children who are unaware of the potential dangers.
  • Emotional Abuse – When a teacher, staff member, aide or even another child resorts to acts of intimidation, bullying, humiliation, verbal abuse or even ignoring a child, severe psychological damage can occur.
  • Physical Abuse – This refers to any type of slapping, punching, dropping or other abusive behavior that injures a child.
  • Sexual Abuse – The most heinous of all types of daycare abuse. The attacker may be another child or even a staff member

Common Signs of Child Abuse

Child abuse or neglect often results in your child strongly acting out in ways that are out of character, including:

  • Sudden, extreme or unusual changes in behavior, such as aggressiveness, wild mood swings or becoming emotionally distant and withdrawn
  • Unexplained, atypical and frequent injuries for normal child play – including welts, bruises or cuts to unusual parts of the body (face, buttocks, back, arms or legs)
  • Sudden onset of frequent nightmares or bad dreams; bedwetting
  • Demonstrating behavior that indicates an unusual or inappropriate interest or understanding of sexual matters, given the age
  • Urinary tract infections (recurring), scratching or visible soreness around the genitals (may be hard for a child to sit or wear certain clothing without discomfort)
  • Bloody stools
  • Regressing to infant-like behavior, such as thumb sucking, head banging, rocking

What are the Signs of Negligence?

There are certain standards that state and federal laws require and deem necessary for a daycare facility to be able to provide a reasonable level of care. State inspections exist to help eliminate known dangers that occur when these standards are not maintained by the daycare facility. Common signs these standards are not being met may include, but are not limited to:

  • Inadequate caregiver to child ratio as required by Minnesota Department of Human Services
  • Small choking hazards, like paper clips and push pins, left out where a child could grab them
  • Cleaning supplies with dangerous chemicals left in unlocked places and within reach of children
  • Frequent bruises, cuts or more serious injuries, such as a broken bone
  • Your child often comes home unusually hungry or thirsty
  • The demeanor of your child has become withdrawn, fearful or aggressive

Why Does Daycare Abuse or Neglect Happen?

There are many different reasons why daycare abuse or neglect happens, even if the facility is a state licensed daycare center. Some of the most common reasons that acts of negligence or abuse at a daycare facility occur include:

  • Lack of staff training
  • Inexperienced workers
  • Understaffing
  • Inadequate background checks
  • Negligent or flawed security
  • Insufficient monitoring of staff

What Do I Need to Build a Case Against a Daycare Facility?

After removing your child from immediate danger, it will help your attorney to build a strong case if you gather as much tangible evidence as you can from your child’s experience, including:

  • Photos of your child’s injuries, along with the date and a copy of the facility’s report explaining how it happened
  • Documented witness statements, along with contact details
  • Any pertinent medical records or bills related to your child’s injuries
  • Police report
  • Pictures of the facility and where the incident happened
  • Personal journal of your child’s behavior changes, what they are and when they started

How Can an Attorney Help Me Get Justice For My Child?

A daycare abuse case can quickly become complicated and take a long time to be resolved. This is why we recommend hiring an experienced Bloomington daycare abuse lawyer who is also well-versed in Minnesota laws and can obtain evidence to bolster your claim.

For example, our lawyers know how to obtain inspection reports on your child’s daycare facility to find violations of state requirements or other problems.

At TSR Injury Law, our attorneys know how to investigate an accident and help you gather the evidence that you will need to support your claim. We are dedicated to pursuing justice and holding caregivers accountable for acts of abuse and negligence against children.

Complete our Free online Case Evaluation form today.

How To Report Daycare Abuse in Bloomington

If you are concerned that your child may be in a situation that exposes him or her to abuse or neglect, we urge you to remove them from that childcare facility and call 9-1-1 to inform the police and local authorities. Additionally, you should contact Minnesota child services for your county for additional resources and information.

Contact a Bloomington Daycare Abuse Lawyer

At TSR Injury Law, our Bloomington daycare abuse lawyers are prepared to help you. Call our office for a free and confidential review of your claim. There is no obligation to go forward with hiring us to represent you; the choice is yours.

Since we operate on a contingency basis, we do not charge up-front fees to represent you. If we do not win a favorable verdict or settlement, we do not get paid.

We understand compensation cannot change what happened, but it can provide the funds your child needs for medical care and treatment for emotional and psychological issues.

Call us now to get started. Ph: (612) TSR-TIME