In 2000, Jose Moncada was caring for his then three month old son, Joseph. Joseph was fussy and Jose became frustrated from the crying. Jose then forcefully pushed his son’s face into the arm of a couch to quiet him down. Joseph stopped breathing. Jose called 911.
After nearly four months of treatment, Joseph was discharged from the hospital. He had suffered skull fractures and bleeding to his brain, resulting in poor vision, spastic quadriplegia, seizures and other complications.
Two years later, Joseph was admitted to a group home for developmentally disabled children. He could not walk, speak, use sign language or otherwise communicate except through crying and vocalizing. He also had continued difficulty swallowing, so multiple digestive tract surgeries followed.
In 2008, nearly eight years later, he was riding on a bus to school and died. The pathologist who performed the autopsy stated that Joseph died of “complication of remote blunt force trauma.” Joseph’s stomach had ruptured, allowing bacteria to enter his system, leading to sepsis and death. The trial court emphasized that the stomach surgeries were required because of the pre-existing brain injuries.
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