Partner Michael Badowski obtain Summary Judgment for Pediatric Orthopedist

Summary judgment was achieved for our pediatric orthopedist client in a case of first impression in Pennsylvania dealing with allegations of negligent failure to report suspected child abuse under Pennsylvania’s child abuse reporting statute. Briefly, our client assessed three month old infant Plaintiff for radiographic discovered rib fractures in September 2002. The Doctor concluded that the rib fractures were most likely the result of bone demineralization associated with the baby’s premature birth. Four months later, the child suffered profound neurological injury thought to be due to shaken baby syndrome at the hands of his father. Following the father’s conviction for child abuse, the mother brought suit on behalf of her son against our client and other treating healthcare providers. Plaintiff postulated that had the Doctor reported the earlier rib fractures to child services as possible child abuse, the catastrophic events four months later would have been averted. In short, the Lancaster County trial court accepted our argument that neither Pennsylvania’s mandatory reporting child protective services law nor standard common law theories of professional negligence impose a civil duty upon physicians to protect their patients from injuries subsequently inflicted by others. The trial court authored an exquisitely detailed and cogent opinion in support its decision. Michael M. Badowski represented the pediatric orthopedist in this case.