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Matter of Ameillia RR – Case Brief Summary (New York)

In Matter of Ameillia RR., 112 AD3d 1083, 977 N.Y.S.2d 762 (3rd Dep't 2013), the Appellate Division, Third Department, found that the petitioner established a prima facie case of neglect by submitting proof that the three-year-old child sustained bruises to her hands, feet, legs, ears, eye, forehead and back and a cut to her lip. Id.

The petitioner presented the testimony of a physician who examined her and found that the injuries were more likely caused by abuse than an accident, due to the number, sizes, locations and different stages of healing of the bruises. Id.

The physician further testified that while some of the bruises may have been the result of accidents, bruises on the child's ears and fingertips were likely caused by non-accidental means. Id.

The physician further noted that, from the age of the bruises, that the injuries occurred while the child was in the care of the respondent mother and her live-in boyfriend.

In Ameillia RR., the mother called an expert pediatrician who testified that many of the bruises could be caused by accidental means but some were more likely not accidental, specifying that finger marks were visible in the bruises on the feet.

The mother testified that the child was active and bumped into things often.

The Court found that the mother's proffered explanations were not all consistent with the type or age of the bruising, and she offered no explanation for some of the injuries. Id.