Tripler Army Medical Center should have reported signs of abuse in another child who died earlier, lawsuit says.
The guardian of a child whose U.S. Air Force parents faced court martial for abusing her in 2017 has filed a federal lawsuit saying negligence by the Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu caused her to be harmed.
The child’s injuries prompted an investigation into her brother’s death a year earlier, initially ruled “natural.” The Honolulu Medical Examiner’s Officer later ruled that it was a homicide caused by blunt force trauma and the mother, Natasha Beyer, is being charged with manslaughter.
The father, former Sgt. Caleb Humphrey, stationed at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, was convicted in February of aggravated assault and child endangerment for the beating of his daughter. He was sentenced to three years of confinement and dishonorable discharge.
The daughter, who suffered a skull fracture, brain bleeding, rib fractures and bone lesions, among other injuries, was just seven days old at the time.
Beyer was initially scheduled to be court-martialed in March before the COVID-19 outbreak postponed the case.
The lawsuit alleges that medical personnel at Tripler had a duty to find out if physical abuse had contributed to the son’s 2016 death, as medical records showed that he had brain lesions and multiple rib fractures. They also had a duty to report it to state and federal law enforcement, as well as child protective services, according to the lawsuit.
That could have prevented the daughter from being abused as well, the lawsuit says.