LONG ISLAND CITY — The city has agreed to pay $2.7 million to settle a wrongful death suit filed by the mother of Avonte Oquendo, the autistic 14-year-old whose body was found in the East River three months after he vanished from his Queens school, according to the Law Department.
Vanessa Fontaine, Oquendo’s mother, filed the suit in June 2014, accusing the city of negligence for failing to adequately supervise her special-needs son.
The months-long search, which stretched up and down the East Coast, ended in heartbreak when Oquendo’s decomposed remains were found on a rocky inlet off the College Point waterfront in January 2014.
“The loss of a child is a tragedy no family should endure, and hopefully the resolution of this legal matter will bring some measure of solace to Avonte’s family,” Law Department Spokesman Nicholas Paolucci said in a statement issued Thursday.
“The Department of Education has taken a number of steps and is dedicated to taking every measure possible to prevent something like this from occurring again.”
The suit specifically accused the DOE, the NYPD’s School Safety Division and several school employees of negligence.
It was first filed in Queens Supreme Court and was seeking $25 million.
In the months after Oquendo's body was discovered, the city passed Avonte's Law, requiring the DOE to assess its buildings for the need for door alarms and other precautions to prevent students from running off undetected.
Fontaine's lawyer, David Perecman, did not immediately return a request for comment.
The settlement was first reported by the Daily News.