Helping Hands
Helping Hands

Confidential v. Washington DSHS – $1,500,000 Settlement

About the case

In October 2011, the Department of Social and Health Services (“DSHS”) received a report that a man had punched a seven-month-old baby in the face. Despite multiple opportunities to intervene, DSHS instead chose to perform a cursory investigation of the alleged abuse and leave the infant child in the care of his alleged abuser. Ten days later, the baby was rushed to the emergency room at Mary Bridge Hospital by his mother and her boyfriend.  The baby had suffered skull fractures, broken limbs, and retinal hemorrhaging.  Emergency life-saving procedures were required to stop a brain bleed and treat the badly injured baby boy.

In September, 2014, a court appointed advocate for the infant child filed suit against the State of Washington and DSHS arguing that the State negligently failed to protect the infant child from foreseeable harm. Trial commenced in February 2017 and lasted over three weeks. On March 10, 2017, before closing arguments, Plaintiffs settled the case for $1,500,000.


  • Settlement: $1,500,000

Cause Number

  • Pierce County, No. 14-2-12046-5



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