LA school is ordered to pay $18m in compensation to parents of dead boy with down syndrome
A Southern California school district was ordered to pay $18 million to the parents of an eight-year-old boy with Down syndrome who died five years ago after being tied to a chair in the classroom.
Lawyers for Moises Murrillo’s family announced the successful outcome of the family’s culpable homicide lawsuit at a news conference Wednesday in La Puente, a suburb east of Los Angeles, where the boy attended Sunset Elementary School.
Moises was unsupervised on May 31, 2017 when he fell backwards, hit his head on the ground and broke his neck, according to the lawsuit filed by both his parents – Martin Murrillo and Roberta Gomez.
The boy had been removed from his special stroller by staff and strapped to a school chair, the lawsuit said.
He went into cardiac arrest and was taken to a hospital, where he died of a spinal cord injury on June 4, 2017, the court said.
The parents of eight-year-old Moises Murillo, who suffered from severe Down syndrome and died after falling tied to a chair in a classroom during summer school 2017, have reached an $18 million settlement in their wrongful death lawsuit against a school district in La Puente in Los Angeles
Martin Murrillo and Roberta Gomez (pictured), the boy’s father and mother, have filed the lawsuit
Moises fell backwards on a strapped chair (pictured) and hit his head on the ground before breaking his neck on May 31, 2017
Hacienda La Puente Unified School District “did not provide a safe environment” and allowed the vulnerable boy to be “unsupervised and uninhibited during his lesson,” the file claimed.
In addition, according to the lawsuit, the district had no policy to adequately guide students with special needs like Moises inside and outside their classrooms.
District officials did not immediately return DailyMail.com’s request for comment Wednesday to get more information about the settlement.
The family filed the lawsuit in Los Angeles County Superior Court in 2018.
‘He was always cheerful. He would always make everyone happy,” Lizbeth Murillo, the Moises’ older sister, Lizbeth, told NBC Los Angeles.
However, the settlement agreement does not contain an admission of guilt on behalf of the school district. Pictured: Sunset Elementary School in La Puente, a suburb east of Los Angeles
‘He was always cheerful. He would always make everyone happy,” Moises’ sister Lizbeth Murrillo said NBC Los Angeles.
‘My brother really meant everything to us. To this day, my mom may look like she’s okay, that she’s okay, but she’s not,” she added.
The school district settled the lawsuit with the victim’s family just a week before a potential trial.
“We’ve fought for years to get answers about what happened and this neighborhood doesn’t want to answer questions about it. Instead, they tried to sweep under the rug as if nothing had happened,” Vartazarian said.
Moises’ older sister Lizbeth (pictured) said at a news conference that the family of four is still grappling with her younger brother’s death five years later.
However, the settlement agreement does not contain an admission of guilt on behalf of the school district.
“The question to the school district will be, ‘Are you going to do anything else as a result of this tragedy here at the school?'” Vartazarian further told NBC Los Angeles.
“So no, money doesn’t bring everyone together, it doesn’t bring happiness, it doesn’t bring closure. No, it isn’t,’ Moises’ sister, Lizbeth, concluded.