It has been reported that a daycare provider, Gail Dobson, was found guilty of second degree murder and second degree assault of Trevor Ulrich, a 9 month old boy who died. The case was tried in Talbot County, Maryland. By reported history, Trevor was in the daycare for a short time (a few days) and the autopsy reported injuries consistent with shaken baby syndrome.
We are saddened to hear about the tragedy which has occurred to Trevor and his family, and offer our thoughts and condolences to them.
Some families of victims of shaken baby syndrome are unable to get even this level of justice for themselves or for their baby, if he or she survives. This could be for a number of reasons. First, criminal prosecutions require proof beyond a reasonable doubt. This is appropriate because people will go to jail and lose their liberty. So even though a prosecutor may be able to prove "more likely than not" under whose care a baby was shaken, then ethically they are prohibited from filing charges, even if they know who did it. Second, some prosecutors are overwhelmed with a big caseload and unable to take on a complicated scientific and medical issues that can arise during shaken baby syndrome cases. Third, sometimes prosecutors choose to bring cases where there is a death, but not cases where there is neurologic problems, brain damage or other gross motor skill damage or neurocognitive damage. For cases like those, where the prosecutors are unable or unwilling to bring them, the parents, grandparents, aunts or uncles,or guardians should consider bringing a civil action to correct the injustice. In a civil action, a complaint is filed against the perpetrator and a jury returns a verdict against her or him. There will be a public record of the complaint, and the verdict and judgment. Also, the shaken baby will have money available to help him or her as they get older (the money will be protected by a court until they are 18, or longer if they have cognitive problems and cannot take care of their own money). For cases in which there is brain damage, neurologic damage, neurocognitive damage or other injury, including blindness, Christopher Keane and The Keane Law Firm have dedicated themselves to helping these shaken babies, have recovered millions of dollars on behalf of brain-damaged babies and are available to represent select cases on behalf of the baby. Please contact them at 888-592-KIDS, or on the web at www.keanelaw.com It is free to call and talk to the firm, and it may be the only and best way for you to help your shaken baby - especially when the prosecutor in your county cannot or will not help correct the injustice.
A link to the Trevor Ulrich story is below.