NYC to Pay $2.7M to Mother of Avonte Oquendo

New York City has agreed to pay $2.7 million to settle a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the mother of a 14-year-old autistic boy who was found dead after leaving his school in Queens.

The lawsuit accused school officials and the NYPD safety division of negligence for failing to monitor the exit doors and not properly supervising Avonte Oquendo, who had a history of being a flight risk.

Avonte Oquendo ran off from his school in 2013 and was found dead in a river months later. A law passed after his death required schools to install audible door alarms.

City Law Department spokesman Nicholas Paolucci said hopefully the settlement "will bring some measure of solace to Avonte's family."

But Oquendo family attorney David Perecmen said that it was "sad" the law only allows for a limid recovery in the death of a child. 

"It's bittersweet and nothing can replace the death of Avonte," said Vanessa Fontaine, his mother. "I still think of him every day."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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