Attorney Profiles
Case Examples
Our Publications
Defending the Innocent
Areas of Practice
 • False Allegations of Sexual Abuse
 • Munchausen Syndrome By Proxy
 • Shaken Baby Syndrome
 • Parental Alienation Syndrome
 • Probate, Estate, and Trust Litigation

Zachary Bravos
Phone: 630.510.1300
E-mail: zacharybravos@gmail.com

Shaken Baby Syndrome

We have handled cases of alleged Shaken Baby Syndrome starting in 1992, giving us some 16 years experience as of this writing.  Our first case involved a one year old who had a seizure and upon examination was found to have both old and new subdural hematomas along with retinal hemorrhages.  Our clients were British citizens and we retained a radiologist from England who persuaded us that this child likely had a spontaneous subdural earlier and a second spontaneous subdural superimposed upon the first.

We were able to have the case removed from our courts and transferred to England where a speedy reunification of the child with the family was arranged.  This case gave us a basic introduction to the field but did not give us cause to question the basic tenets of the Shaken Baby Syndrome theory.  That opportunity came later when we became involved in a juvenile court abuse proceeding alleging Shaken Baby Syndrome in a child with macrocephaly and external hydrocephalus.  Research for this case required that we delve deeply into the underlying science (or lack thereof) and the development of the Shaken Baby Syndrome theory in the medical and popular literature.

To our distress we discovered that not only was the Shaken Baby Syndrome theory developed without scientific foundation, it is falsified by what we view as the competent scientific research to date and is counter to some basic principles of physics and biomechanics.  Thus the Shaken Baby Syndrome theory appears to be another in a long line of failed medical diagnoses and theories that had plagued medical science throughout its history – from malaria being caused by bad (mal) air to stomach ulcers being caused by stress (most are caused by the bacterium Helicobacter pylori).

We feel strongly that here are hundreds of innocent persons serving lengthy prison terms based upon false Shaken Baby Syndrome convictions and many more, perhaps thousands, who have had their family relationships destroyed or permanently damaged.

Our recent article, A Critical Look at the Shaken Baby Syndrome, has been accepted for publication in the Journal of the Illinois bar association. Read the article.

Legal Attacks On the Shaken Baby Syndrome Theory

The Shaken Baby Syndrome Theory is starting to come under legal attack challenging the theory’s validity.  These attacks strike at the core of the theory, challenging its basis and arguing that Shaken Baby Syndrome has insufficient scientific basis to be admitted into evidence at trial.  While the basis for admissibility of evidence varies from State to State, generally scientific or medical evidence must pass minimal standards for validity before testimony based upon those theories may be considered at trial.

The two generally utilized standards were initially set forth in the cases of  Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 509 U.S. 579, 125 L. Ed. 2d 469, 113 S. Ct. 2786 (1993) and Frye v. United States, 54 App. D.C. 46, 293 F. 1013 (D.C. Cir. 1923).  Pre-trial hearings to challenge the admissibility of  such evidence are often described as a “Daubert” or “Frye” hearing, depending on the jurisdiction.

We feel confident that the Shaken Baby Syndrome Theory, even though it has been the subject of expert testimony for many years, lacks sufficient scientific validity and will eventually be discredited and barred from evidence.  View an example of a Frye challenge that we have mounted.

The battle will be long and hard fought. The legal and medical systems are resistant to change, but our persistent belief in the power of truth and science convinces us that we will eventually prevail. Our only question is how many more lives will be affected before Shaken Baby Syndrome takes its rightful place in the dustbin of history.

Home  |  Attorney Profiles  |  Case Examples  |  Our Publications  |  Defending the Innocent

© 2016 by Bravos and DiCola, Attorneys at Law. All rights reserved.
600 West Roosevelt Road, Suite B1, Wheaton, Illinois 60187
Phone: 630-510-1300 - Fax: 630-510-1336
Site Map