Rachel Bruno, the mother in the middle of a civil rights battle in Orange County, CA, has won another significant settlement against Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) and CPS after they seized her twenty-month-old son and injected him with a dozen vaccinations at the same time and performed unauthorized medical tests on him.
The LA County Sheriff’s Department just gave Bruno a half-million-dollar settlement for their role in violating her Fourth Amendment rights of due process by carrying out an unwarranted seizure of her twenty-month-old son David.
The award covers damage to Bruno’s civil rights, which were violated by hospital staff and social workers when they ordered tests on David without parental consent or warrants to do so.
David was taken, without a warrant, from his parents while his newborn brother Lucas was in the hospital for an unexplained head injury that was being investigated by Orange County. The medical tests David were given were to determine if he was sexually abused, even though there were no allegations of abuse of any kind occurring. An invasive test was performed at CHOC, and he was forcibly held down for a full skeletal x-ray.
Child services suspected that Lucas’s head injury stemmed from abuse, and although the mother and nanny were the only two in the home when the injury occurred, child services questioned the nanny only once and then let her go, and began blaming Bruno. It is worth noting that no evidence was found that anyone had harmed the newborn intentionally, and the state’s attorney refused to prosecute.
Nonetheless, Bruno was still threatened by social services. She was ordered to move out of her home and was allowed one hour a day supervised visitation with her children while she attended court-ordered child abuse classes. Bruno was treated as a child-abusing criminal by the juvenile court system of Orange County even though there was no evidence of a crime. Innocent, she still agreed to do everything social services told her to do so she could rejoin her children. It took forty days, but she was finally reunited with her family, and she immediately moved to sue everyone involved for civil rights violations.
Taking up Bruno’s cause was Shawn MacMillan, one of the only civil rights attorneys actively suing child welfare agencies in California.
An absolutely shocking discovery in the Bruno case is the fact that the Orange County CPS caseworkers used an old general warrant – that was dated SEVEN years before the tests were performed – to order the invasive medical procedures that traumatized young David just hours after he had been taken from his family.
Orange County CPS offered no explanation for how they got a warrant signed in 2008 for an incident that occurred in 2015.
Orange County CPS also completely disregarded the fact that, at his physician’s direction, David’s vaccination schedule had been altered to occur at a slower pace because of a negative reaction to Prevnar. However, Orange County Social Services did not contact David’s pediatrician before they vaccinated him to “catch up” to the current schedule, vaccinating him with seven shots containing twelve viruses at once. They blatantly disregarded his medical history and had NO parental consent to administer the shots. According to Bruno, the psychological damage David suffered from the illegal separation from his mother, as well as the time in a foster group home has lingered. She told PJ Media:
“By the grace of God, David is okay. It took a while for him to stop rejecting me. He believed I had left him.”1
Bruno is currently reunited with her family. Her infant baby has recovered from his head injury, which remains unexplained.
During the investigation, senior Social Worker Laura Todd was was sent by Orange County CPS to review the child abuse claim. Dr. Daphne Wong, a doctor at CHOC, was also brought in to determine if there was child abuse. Wong has been sued repeatedly, according to testimony at a deposition in this case.
When McMillan’s interrogated the police officer, Detective Perez, and senior social worker, Laura Todd, the clear constitutional violations they committed were obvious. Detective Perez, who ordered the seizure of the children, admitted, “I did a warrantless seizure,”1 even though she knows that is illegal. And Laura Todd, in the video above, admitted she was aware that Dr. Wong at CHOC, who claimed the child abuse allegations against Bruno, has been sued repeatedly.
Bruno is lucky to have Shawn McMillan, who was willing to fight through the court system and demand that those entities watching over families in this country follow the U.S. Constitution – which is a document of guarantees – not a list of suggestions.