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Grandmother sues over 14-month-old boy’s death

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A 14-month-old boy who died from child abuse in military housing on Ford Island was hospitalized the day before due to injury, according to a lawsuit filed today in state court.

One month before his death, the state Department of Human Serv­ices received an emergency report on its abuse hot line of severe and ongoing abuse of the boy, the lawsuit says.

Brayden Elizah McVeigh died Sept. 18, 2009. The Hono­lulu medical examiner said McVeigh died from brain injury caused by "abusive head trauma."

The boy’s father, Matthew McVeigh, 26, is awaiting Navy court-martial proceedings for allegedly causing his son’s injuries and death. He was a Navy diver assigned to Pearl Harbor at the time. The Navy has since reassigned McVeigh to other duties.

Brayden’s maternal grandmother is suing the state and the boy’s father for allegedly causing the boy’s death.

Terri Polm said the Human Serv­ices Department should not have returned Braden and his older sister to their parents; its Child Welfare Serv­ices Branch had taken custody of the children when Brayden suffered a broken arm and other injuries at the age of 5 weeks. She also claims the state did not adequately monitor the children’s care after it returned the children to their parents and failed to investigate the emergency report or the cause of Brayden’s hospitalization.

Polm, who lives in Texas, is also fighting for custody of Brayden’s now 4-year-old sister, who is in foster care in Hawaii.

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