MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Florida Department of Children and Families and attorneys for the state’s legislature want to put a hold on a deal to pay nearly four million dollars to settle a lawsuit over the gruesome death of 10-year old Nubia Barahona and the torture of her twin brother Victor.READ MORE: Parkland first responder weighs in on Uvalde massacre: ‘It’s gut wrenching’
On Valentine’s Day 2011, police found Nubia’s decomposing body in the back of her adoptive father’s truck parked on the side of I-95 in West Palm Beach. In the front seat, they found Victor suffering seizures from chemical burns.
An investigation found the two children had been abused and tortured for years by their adoptive parents, Jorge and Carmen Barahona.
Nubia and Victor were adopted by the Barahonas in 2009 after living in their home since 2004. The kids, authorities discovered, had endured starvation, beatings, medical neglect and they had been tied up and forced to stay in a bathtub.Residents fed up with Biscayne Bay parties
The DCF came under fire during the course of the police investigation into Nubia’s death for failing to piece together warning signs from medical professionals and school officials that something was wrong in the Barahona home. The agency blamed it on a system wide failure, including poor judgment by child protective investigators, overwhelming caseloads and missed opportunities at every turn.
DCF agreed to a five million dollar settlement in March 2013. The state cut a check for $1.25 million — from a risk-management fund used to cover liability — and sent it to help Victor and his new adoptive parents deal with the years of psychological trauma.
The remaining $3.75 million in settlement funds will have to come from the Legislature in the form of a claim bill.
CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald is reporting that in their efforts to put the settlement on hold, DCF has cited a state law which shields the state from having to pay more than $200,000 when it injures someone, unless the legislature agrees to lift the cap – something it rarely does.
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