Hillsborough parents could get $800K after losing child - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

Hillsborough parents could get $800K after losing child

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TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

The Hillsborough County School Board will vote on a high dollar settlement to the parents of a 7-year-old special needs student who stopped breathing on a school bus.

Isabella Herrera died in January 2012. Her parents filed a federal lawsuit claiming her death was part of a disturbing pattern showing the School District denies civil rights to special needs students.

The Board will vote Tuesday on an $800,000 settlement which releases the School Board from any and all liability to Herrera’s parents.

Neither the bus driver nor aide called 911 when they realized Bella stopped breathing. Instead, they called the girl’s mom, Lisa Herrera.

"She's blue. Please hurry. Please hurry,” Herrera is heard on the tape pleading to a 911 dispatcher shortly after boarding the bus.

Bella, who had muscular dystrophy, died the next day at the hospital. Her parents allege she wasn't properly positioned in her wheelchair and the staff wasn't properly trained to act. New emergency procedures are now in place on all Hillsborough County school buses.

This settlement comes just months after the Hillsborough County School Board approved another big settlement for the family of an 11-year-old special needs student. Jennifer Caballero wandered away from her school gym and drowned in a nearby pond. The Caballero family was awarded $500,000 in December.


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