California: 1.4 Million Settlement for Mom Accused of Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy

A mother accused of Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy sued and won 1.4 million taxpayer dollars because of incompetence and a rush to judgement by doctors and Kern County social services workers.

Rather than checking a child’s medical records, the doctors decided that the mother of a girl with cystic fibrosis was over-medicating her. They removed her medications, then soon learned the child needed them to thrive.

Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy is a mental condition in which a parent seeks attention by asking doctors to look after imagined ailments of a child. Obviously, such a far-fetched idea could easily be exploited by over-zealous child protective services workers. I believe a large number of parents accused of Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy are totally innocent of this charge.

In this case the accused parent, Christine Deeths, was herself a highly respected doctor in the Bakersfield, California area. Her two children were adopted. Because she had the money, she was able to hire an attorney to sue the county. Her attorney is Shawn McMillan.

She has also filed lawsuits against the doctors who came to their conclusions and called CPS without even bothering to read the child’s prior medical records.

One of the doctors involved is Dr. John Stirling, a child abuse expert and director of the Center for Child Protection at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center. Clearly he has his agenda, and probably sees a potential abuser in every parent that walks into his sphere of influence.

Last October he spoke on “War of the Worlds: Abuse, Neglect and the Developing Brain” at a child abuse conference at Stanford called Medical Response to Child Abuse and Neglect.

He was also working in Washington state in 2007 when he was honored at the 16th National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect.

Despite all his education, honors and obsession on child abuse and neglect issues, he seems to have over-stepped his authority in this case, and God knows how many others. I look forward to seeing how the lawsuit against this man turns out.

This is the second Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy lawsuit that the Kern County social services agency has settled within the past year. The first was the case of Darlene and Larry McCue whose son had peanut allergies. They were awarded a settlement of over a million dollars last May.

Source: County coughs up $1.4 million to wronged parent by Lois Henry, published in The Bakersfield Californian on January 19, 2013.

Kern County is renowned for evil persecutions of parents. See Kern County Child Abuse Cases on Wikipedia to read about the wild accusations of ritual sexual abuse leveled against several families in the 1980s, with children coached to lie about their parents. For more information on those cases, check Google. Much has been written to expose the corruption in Kern County child protective services.

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  1. cindy says

    Iam located in Bakersfield ca and going through a living hell cps wrongfully took my grandson from his mother myself and family hes being abused in foster home please does anyone know an attorney who will sue them please help

    • says

      Cindy, the time to sue is usually when the child is returned. Until then, your focus should be on preparing for juvenile court hearings using the tips on this site and others like it. Please seek a local lawyer for a consultation on when would be the best time to sue. Normally you’ll have a 2 year statute of limitations on something like that in CA but please ask a lawyer as laws are subject to change.

  2. Hermanie says

    Cps in Washington state is just as bad as to use your disability against you especially when you ask for help with a child with severe behaviors toward you.they do use old cases against you even. Moving to another state is the kicker.

  3. dong says

    We had a very similar experience like the mother in this case. Our child was removed due to the suspicion that the child failed to gain weight. The doctor denied the child has autism and GI issue even though the child has the formal autism diagnosis report from a licensed psychologist and his GI has been documented by at least four doctors. The doctor who accused the mother having Munchausen by Proxy and was trying to starve her child. The doctor gave such kind of conclusion has NEVER met and talked with the parents, and also without any prior consultation with the child’s main treating physicians.

    I am looking for an attorney to fight for the irresponsible doctor. thanks.

  4. Jane says

    My children were both diagnosed with lyme and being treated and actually were already well for about 6 months when I was falsely accused and dcf removed my children. I was coerced into signing custody to ex telling me the charges would be sealed like I was not guilty because my lawyer had not prepared the other side for the lyme dr to testify. It has been 2 yrs I still have supervised visits only 3 hrs a week. I cry constantly and I have no way to fight this. ANY HELP? ANY IDEAS? I am innocent. I had very bad lawyers no defense and my ex is an abuser so wants to remove me completely I am scared for my children.

  5. cps victim too says

    i was accussed of the same thing.except it had to do with the sexual abuse i reported!! believe that? who is the lawyer tht won the money? i need to contact them.. and for the video i recorded for proof,cps wanted me to be prosecuted for sex charge!!

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