Feds pay $8 million for missed signs of child abuse – bodily harm


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A federal clinic in Maine has accepted an $8 million settlement of claims that its doctors failed to diagnose signs of child abuse. The child’s mother’s lawyer said Ms Orduna had taken her child to the doctor on several occasions for issues including bruised ears and swollen ankles. Yet no one identified child abuse until the mother brought him to the emergency room after the child suffered a fractured skull. The scans showed not only the new injuries, but also the old injuries that previous doctors had never diagnosed. The perpetrator, the mother’s boyfriend who had no biological connection to the child, pleaded guilty to molesting the child.

The child, now 4 years old, is almost completely blind, suffers from brain damage and has reduced mobility. It is unclear from the reports how many times the mother took the child to the doctor before the final assault or how her boyfriend managed to hide the abuse from her. All parties agreed, however, that if the first doctors had correctly recognized the signs of abuse and reported them, as required by Maine law, the child would have been spared further injury.

The majority of the $8 million settlement between Alexandria Orduna and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reserves $17,000 a month in a trust account for the rest of her son’s life. The money will help cover the cost of her long-term medical care, services and other accommodations needed due to her injuries and resulting disabilities.


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