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Shaken Baby and Wrongful Death in Missouri

Q: Is shaken baby syndrome a cause of wrongful death?

Babies are fragile. Sometimes, birth injuries due to negligent medical care occur.

Other times, babies are born healthy but a parent or caretaker may later negligently, recklessly, or intentionally cause them a serious personal injury. Unfortunately, crying or fussy babies are too often violently shaken by ignorant, frustrated, vicious, and/or sleep-deprived caretakers and the outcome of such injuries can be fatal.

If the victim dies from the injuries inflicted, a wrongful death lawsuit may be appropriate.

Halloween night in an emergency room can be unpredictable, but in one Missouri ER an apparent case of shaken baby syndrome presented itself. A nine-month-old baby boy left in the care of a 26-year-old woman reportedly presented with a “devastating brain injury, extensive retinal hemorrhage, and possible retinoschistis” upon admission and authorities were alerted as abuse or negligence was suspected. He died 3 days later. The caretaker reportedly pleaded guilty to felony first degree involuntary manslaughter and was sentenced to 7 years in prison.

Regardless of whether someone is criminally charged or found guilty for their actions which causes a victim to die, a civil lawsuit for wrongful death may be brought. It can be commenced by the victim’s closest surviving relatives—generally a spouse, parents, or children—in an effort to recover compensatory damages.

Wrongful death actions are very complex. Who is entitled to sue and what kinds of damages they might recover is decided on a case-by-case basis but generally include the victim’s final medical expenses and funeral expenses and their pain and suffering. Other financial benefits may also be available depending on the relationship between the victim and the survivors.

If you or a loved one has been injured, or a loved one has been killed, as a result of the actions of somebody else, the Noland Law Firm can help you maximize the compensation to which you may be entitled. Contact our office today for a free consultation.

From our offices in Liberty, Missouri, we represent injured people and their families throughout the Kansas City metropolitan area and western Missouri, including Clay County, Liberty, Blue Springs, Independence, and Gladstone.

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