Renton mom accused of 'medical child abuse' sues for false allegations

A Renton mom is suing to clear her name from accusations of child abuse that she says were made up by doctors at Seattle Children’s Hospital.

In her lawsuit, Sophie Hartman says the false claims resulted in her losing custody of her child, which she spent millions fighting in court.

She says during that time, she was receiving death threats as her story spread online where Hartman was called a liar and an attention seeker for seeking treatment for her daughter.

Court documents said Hartman’s six-year-old, adopted child had nearly 500 medical appointments

Hartman said she was seeking treatment for her daughter’s case of Alternating Hemiplegia of Childhood or AHC.

However, according to several doctors at Seattle Children’s Hospital, Hartman was not a worried mom; she was a child abuser. The doctors said Hartman's daughter did not need all of this medical care.

In 2021, Hartman was charged with assault of a child in the second-degree and attempted assault for accusations of giving her adopted six-year-old daughter unnecessary medical treatment.

However, officials with the King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office tell FOX 13 Seattle the evidence was not there for a felony case, and the charges were dropped down to district court where they were eventually dismissed.

Now, Hartman is filing a lawsuit targeting the people who her attorneys said made her out to be a villain.

The suit names employees of the Department of Children, Youth and Families, the Renton Police Department, Washington Court Appointed Special Advocate Association, and Seattle Children’s Hospital.

The suit states Hartman’s child’s condition, AHC, is, "very real." Alternating hemiplegia of childhood (AHC) is a very rare disease characterized by recurrent attacks of loss of muscular tone resulting in hypomobility of one side of the body, according to the National Institute of Health. 

The case was diagnosed by Mohamad A. Mikati, M. D., an expert doctor at Duke University Health System well before Seattle Children’s Hospital’s involvement, according to the suit.

The lawsuit alleges that doctors at Seattle Children’s Hospital did not agree, and instead colluded with each other to create an abuse case against Hartman.

Seattle Children's Hospital responded to the lawsuit:

"Seattle Children’s takes our responsibility to protect the health and safety of our patients seriously, but we cannot comment on this specific case due to pending litigation." 

The Renton Police Department said it cannot comment on pending litigation, but provided this statement:

"We were recently notified of the pending litigation and are reviewing it with our attorneys. I firmly stand behind our officers, detectives, and the integrity of the investigation," Chief Jon Schuldt.

FOX 13 Seattle also reached out to DCYF and CASA, but they have not yet responded.

Previous coverage in the case

Renton mother cleared in ‘medical child abuse’ case against adopted 6-year-old daughter

Renton mom accused of subjecting adopted daughter to unnecessary medical procedures pleads not guilty

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