CORAL GABLES (CBSMiami) – Former Coral Gables High student Andy Rodriguez may have held the knife in the 2009 stabbing death of fellow student Juan Carlos Rivera, but Miami-Dade taxpayers will pay the price, after the district reached a $1.875 million settlement in a negligence settlement filed by the murdered student’s mother.
Attorney’s for Rivera’s family reached a settlement October 17th with the Miami-Dade School District over the brutal attack, caused by Rodriguez’s jealousy over attention Rivera paid to his girlfriend. The settlement was not made public until Friday, when lawyers for the family filed paperwork seeking full payment of the settlement.
The knife attack happened in a courtyard of the high school. A Miami-Dade jury convicted Rodriguez of second degree murder August 2nd, and his sentencing has been sent for November 29th.
Even though Rodriguez has been found responsible for the murder, Rivera’s family claimed the school and school district were also to blame, because teachers stood in doorways instead of monitoring hallways and courtyards, and because a police officer scheduled to patrol the school on the day of the attack was in court, and had not been replaced.
The family and the district reached a $1.875 million settlement last month, and have already been paid $700 thousand.
Attorneys for the family sat it is the largest security case settlement ever obtained from the district, and ultimately from the taxpayers who fund it.
The payment leaves the family waiting for $1.175 million, and to receive that they need the help of state lawmakers. Under state law, the district has paid it’s legal obligation, and payment of any additional amount must be approved by the Florida Legislature.
The family has filed what’s known as a “claims bill” with the state seeking the additional money, which will be brought to the legislature in the 2012 term.
Attorneys for the family said the district has agreed not to lobby against the payment.
At this point, only the district has been sued for damages in Rivera’s death.