Judge Sarah Cooper
Commissioner of Administration for Children’s Services filed the subject petitions regarding injuries to Lisa A. The first petition was filed against Lisa’s mother, Eunice O., and babysitter, Nana B., alleging they abused Lisa as she presented at a hospital with bilateral fractures of her tibia and fibula. The second petition alleged Nana’s own child was derivatively neglected based on Nana’s abuse of Lisa. The court, however, found that upon considering the totality of the evidence presented at a hearing, ACS failed to establish that either child would be at imminent risk of harm if released to the care of their respective mothers. It stated the examining doctor, Cahill, testified Lisa’s injuries were most likely the result of an accident, despite neither respondent offering any explanation for Lisa’s injuries to the court, hospital or ACS caseworker. The court ruled Cahill’s own testimony established the injuries were likely the result of a crush accident that was unintentional, crediting respondents’ testimonies that they did not know how Lisa’s injuries occurred. It found Eunice sought immediate medical treatment upon noticing the child’s injuries, ruling ACS failed to prove the injuries would not have occurred but for respondents’ actions or omissions. Thus, the applications were denied.