LA school is ordered to pay $18m in compensation to parents of dead boy with down syndrome

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A Southern California school district was ordered to pay $18million to the parents of an eight-year-old boy with Down syndrome who died after falling while strapped to a chair in class five-years-ago.

Lawyers for the family of Moises Murrillo announced the successful outcome of the family’s wrongful death lawsuit in a news conference 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, striking his head on the floor and fracturing his neck, according to the lawsuit brought by both of his parents РMartin Murrillo and Roberta Gomez. 

The boy had been taken out of his special adaptive stroller by staff and strapped to a school chair, the lawsuit stated.

He went into cardiac arrest and was taken to a hospital, where he died on June 4, 2017 of spinal cord trauma, the court filing said.

The parents of eight-year-old Moises Murillo, who had severe Down syndrome and died after falling while strapped to a chair in class in 2017 summer school, have reached an $18 million settlement in their wrongful death lawsuit against a La Puente school district in Los Angeles

The parents of eight-year-old Moises Murillo, who had severe Down syndrome and died after falling while strapped to a chair in class in 2017 summer school, have reached an $18 million settlement in their wrongful death lawsuit against a La Puente school district in Los Angeles

Martin Murrillo and Roberta Gomez (pictured), the boy's mother and father, filed the lawsuit

Martin Murrillo and Roberta Gomez (pictured), the boy's mother and father, filed the lawsuit

Martin Murrillo and Roberta Gomez (pictured), the boy’s mother and father, filed the lawsuit

Moises fell backwards on a strapped chair (pictured), and struck his head on the floor before fracturing his neck on May 31, 2017

Moises fell backwards on a strapped chair (pictured), and struck his head on the floor before fracturing his neck on May 31, 2017

Moises fell backwards on a strapped chair (pictured), and struck his head on the floor before fracturing his neck on May 31, 2017

Hacienda La Puente Unified School District ‘failed to provide safe surroundings’ and allowed the vulnerable boy ‘to be unsupervised and unrestrained during his class,’ the filing alleged.

In addition, the lawsuit said, the district did not have a policy in place to adequately supervise students with special needs like Moises inside and outside of their classrooms.

District officials didn’t immediately return DailyMail.com’s request for comment on Wednesday seeking details on the settlement.

The family filed the lawsuit in Los Angeles County Superior Court in 2018. 

'He was always happy. He would always make everybody happy,' Lizbeth Murillo, the Moises' older sister Lizbeth, told NBC Los Angeles

'He was always happy. He would always make everybody happy,' Lizbeth Murillo, the Moises' older sister Lizbeth, told NBC Los Angeles

‘He was always happy. He would always make everybody happy,’ Lizbeth Murillo, the Moises’ older sister Lizbeth, told NBC Los Angeles

The settlement agreement, however, does not include an admission of fault on behalf of the school district. Pictured: Sunset Elementary School in La Puente, a suburb east of Los Angeles

The settlement agreement, however, does not include an admission of fault on behalf of the school district. Pictured: Sunset Elementary School in La Puente, a suburb east of Los Angeles

The settlement agreement, however, does not include an admission of fault on behalf of the school district. Pictured: Sunset Elementary School in La Puente, a suburb east of Los Angeles

‘He was always happy. He would always make everybody happy,’ Moises’s sister Lizbeth Murrillo, told NBC Los Angeles.

‘My brother did mean everything to us. Until this day, my mom might look like she’s OK, that she’s fine, but she’s not,’ she added.

The school district resolved the lawsuit with the victim’s family just one week ahead of a potential trial.

‘We fought for years to get some answers about what happened and this district will not answer any questions about it. Instead they tried to sweep in under the rug like nothing happened,’ Vartazarian said.¬†

Moises' older sister Lizbeth (pictured) said at a news conference that the family-of-four is still struggling with her younger brother's death five years later

Moises' older sister Lizbeth (pictured) said at a news conference that the family-of-four is still struggling with her younger brother's death five years later

Moises’ older sister Lizbeth (pictured) said at a news conference that the family-of-four is still struggling with her younger brother’s death five years later

The settlement agreement, however, does not include an admission of fault on behalf of the school district.

‘The question to the school district will be, ‘are you going to do anything different 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 doesn’t,’ Moises’ sister, Lizbeth, concluded.