Doctors Civilly Immune on Child Abuse Assessment

Doctors are civilly immune for their medical opinions in making a good faith child abuse assessment, even though they are mandatory reporters of child abuse. If a doctor believes that the parent’s claim that a baby’s broken arm could possibly be consistent with innocent accident or act of God rather than an intentional act, even though such opinion was erroneous and not consistent with other medical evidence, and even if the doctor does not engage in further investigation, he still cannot be civilly liable for failing to protect the child. In this instance, three weeks later, the child suffered a severe brain injury while in the care of the father, who other doctors believed obviously had broken the child’s arm several weeks prior.

It appears that the Department of Human Services was negligent in not trying to get a no contact order sooner, and negligent by not serving the parent with the no contact order more quickly.

Criminal Defense Cedar Rapids