It has been reported that the federal government has agreed to settle the claims of a Maine mother who alleged that a federally-funded medical clinic in Maine failed to report the suspected physical abuse of her then six-and-a-half-month-old child.
The now three-and-a-half-year-old child allegedly was physically abused on January 10, 2019 by a 27-year-old man, who was not his father, who was living with the child’s 24-year-old mother, resulting in the child suffering brain injuries, a retinal hemorrhage, a neck bruise, a swollen eye, a skull fracture, and a femur fracture. The mother had left her child with the man while she attended an evening class. When she returned home, she found her child with a swollen eye and the child had abnormal responses to stimulation. The child is now blind.
At the medical clinic, the man claimed that he had placed the infant too high in his bath seat, which caused the child to hit his head when the seat slipped over. The man later changed his story to claim that he had been carrying the child to the bathroom when the child slipped out of his arms and hit his head on the tub.
The child’s mother filed a lawsuit in 2019 against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to require that Medicaid continue to pay for the child’s medical care. The mother alleged that the federally-funded medical clinic failed to report the suspected child abuse to authorities in Maine and also failed to advise her of the suspected abuse. The proposed $10 million settlement with the federal government would set aside $7 million for the long-term medical needs of the child, and the balance would be paid to the mother for her legal fees and litigation expenses. The proposed settlement needs to be approved by the U.S. Department of Justice and then approved by the federal judge assigned to the case.
On November 9, 2021, the alleged abuser reportedly pleaded guilty to one count each of aggravated assault, a Class B crime, and one count of assault on a child less than 6 years old, a Class C crime, in connection with the alleged physical abuse of the child. The judge sentenced the abuser to a nine-year prison sentence with all but four years suspended, followed by five-and-a-half years of probation. He is being held at the Bolduc Correctional Facility. The abuser’s release date from prison is June 27, 2024.
If your family member suffered serious injury (or worse) as a result of a medical facility’s failure to diagnose or report suspected child abuse in Maine or in another U.S. state, you should promptly find a Maine medical malpractice lawyer, or a medical malpractice lawyer in your state, who may investigate your failure to report suspected child abuse claim for you and represent your family member and the child in a child abuse medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
Visit our website or call us toll-free in the United States at 800-295-3959 to find medical malpractice attorneys in your state who may assist you.
Turn to us when you don’t know where to turn.