L.A. VS. NEW JERSEY DIVISION OF YOUTH AND FAMILY
SERVICES, ET AL.
This case required us to define the standard of care
applicable to a physician treating a child in the context of the
physician's duty to report child abuse to the Division of Child
Protection and Permanency, formerly known as the Division of
Youth and Family Services. The parties agreed that the standard
of care is embodied in N.J.S.A. 9:6-8.10, which requires
reporting by "[a]ny person having reasonable cause to believe
that a child has been subjected to child abuse."
For reasons explained in the opinion, we concluded that "a
physician has 'reasonable cause to believe' that there has been
abuse if a 'probable inference' from the medical and factual
information available to the physician is that the child's
condition is the result of child abuse, including 'reckless' or
'grossly or wantonly negligent' conduct or inaction by a parent
or caregiver. The inference need not be the 'most probable,'
but it must be more than speculation or suspicion."