It was a great honor to have Keane Law Firm client, Adam Carbajal, as a special guest at the San Francisco Child Abuse Prevention Center’s annual Board of Directors retreat on October 28, 2011 in San Francisco. Chris Keane is currently the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the San Francisco Child Abuse Prevention Center, and has served on the board for the past 6 years. Adam was joined by his grandmother, Maria Alvarez-Garcia, and grandfather, Alfredo Garcia. Adam, Maria and Alfredo are amazing people and special friends to Chris Keane and everyone at the firm.
Chris asked Adam, Maria and Alfredo to come to the retreat for two reasons. First, so Chris’ fellow board members could see firsthand the devastation which shaken baby syndrome (SBS) and abusive head trauma (AHT) causes to a baby and his family. It is one thing to talk about it, and another thing to actually see it in person. Oftentimes, people talk about child abuse in terms of statistics (e.g. such as the number of children abused and shaken each year) or the cost associated with child abuse (e.g. such as the cost of taking care of a child) and the cost to the criminal justice system (e.g. putting the perpetrator in jail). It is really unforgettable to see an actual little boy who was abused face-to-face. To see him struggle to sit up in his wheelchair. To see him only use one side of his body, and to slither around on the floor instead of walk. To see him unable to do the things we expect little boys to do – like play catch, or chase his friends. It can break your heart – but it can also inspire you – which is the main reason Chris wanted Adam to meet his board members.
Chris knows how important it is for Adam’s family – as it is for most survivors of SBS and AHT – to find meaning and purpose in their survival and struggle. For most survivors and their families, they work tirelessly on child abuse prevention. Maria and Alfredo are leaders in the SBS prevention community. It is Chris’ belief, and the core reason why the Keane Law Firm takes on child abuse cases that most other lawyers wouldn’t handle, that the civil justice system can bring about change – not only for the child who was already abused - but also for the institutions and people who are responsible for preventing child abuse and who fail in their responsibility to a child. Lawsuits can – and do – compensate an abused child for his or her damage, while also simultaneously changing future behavior. If the institution or person being sued refuses to accept responsibility for their role in failing to uphold their responsibility to prevent child abuse, the jury in a civil lawsuit will make them accept responsibility in that case. And you can rest assured that the people being sued will think twice before they make the same bad choice with another child’s life at stake the next time they have the same responsibility. It is critical to get mandated reporters (e.g teachers, child care providers, pediatricians, and many others) and institutions responsible for reporting and investigating abuse (e.g. police and child protective services) to report and intervene to protect children before they become catastrophically injured, or killed.
It is an honor not only to call Adam our client, but also to call Adam, Maria and Alfredo our friends. Very good friends. We cherish their friendship, and are in awe of their individual strength as well as the strength of their family. They are a shining example of how a family with an SBS survivor can turn a tragedy into an inspiration for everyone.
Not only is Adam adorable, but Maria and Alfredo are great speakers and ambassadors for child abuse prevention. If you ever want them to speak to your group, let us know and we’ll put you in touch with them. They desperately want to prevent what happened to Adam from happening to any other baby.
If you have a SBS survivor like Adam in your family, and want to see if the Keane Law Firm can help your child, contact Chris today for a free consultation.
If you have any questions or concerns about what can be done to help babies who have been shaken, or families of babies who have died, please call Christopher Keane and The Keane Law Firm toll-free for free consultation at (888) 592-5437 (KIDS), click on contact us here, or use the web form provided at http://www.keanelaw.com