When Is Reporting Child Abuse a Hospital’s Responsibility?

When a baby boy showed up at Sutter Amador Hospital with two broken ribs, a broken clavicle and a spinal injury, child protective services were contacted. The boy was removed from the care of his biological parents and grandparents and entered into foster care. However, this case of suspected child abuse resulted in the boy’s paralysis. Worse yet, the injuries that caused the boy’s condition might have been prevented if proper procedure was followed. This led to the boy filing a lawsuit against his biological parents, grandparents and hospital staff, but was it the hospital’s job to protect this boy? 

Is Reporting Child Abuse Required of Hospitals? 

At 6 years old, the boy in this case went to court to sue the parties that may have been responsible for his paralysis. That’s because only three weeks before the hospital visit that incited CPS to step in, the boy had been in the same ER. During that visit he had injuries to his face and eye that should have aroused suspicions, but he was still sent home with his parents and grandparents. 

California law requires that medical workers such as nurses, nurse practitioners and doctors report suspicious injuries to CPS. Institutions are also required by law to supply staff with a copy of this law to make sure everyone is trained on what to do. These measures were not taken, even though medical staff notated the boy’s injuries in his initial visit to Sutter Amador’s ER. 

This resulted in a verdict of $8.4 million to compensate the boy for his pain and suffering and his future lost wages. Though the lion’s share of this verdict will be paid by the healthcare network that owns the Sutter Amador Hospital, the boy’s biological parents and grandparents are also responsible for part of the sum. It was ruled that they either caused or failed to prevent the injuries that paralyzed the boy. 

To learn more about the legal options available to the victims of abuse and catastrophic injury, keep following personal injury attorneys at The Brandi Law Firm. We are here to protect the interests and rights of those who are injured.