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On Top Of Surviving Barahona Child, Signed Claims Bill To Also Benefit Two More Victims

MGN Online

Attorneys for a young abuse survivor say they’re grateful to the Governor and the Florida Legislature for agreeing to further compensate their client. And, the claims bill signed into law also includes money for two more abuse survivors.

For years, Victor Barahona and his twin sister Nubia were abused by their foster parents who later adopted them. When they were both found covered in toxic chemicals in 2011, only Nubia didn’t survive.

Ignoring red flags, the Florida Department of Children and Families was deemed negligent, and agreed to a five million dollar settlement in 2013. Victor has already received a quarter of the money.

For four years, a claims bill was filed to further compensate Victor.  It finally got legislative approval last month and the Governor signed it into law this week. Victor’s Attorney Neal Roth says it’s a long time coming.

“We are incredibly grateful that a very long journey has come to an end, and one that we had hoped would not take so long,” he said. “But, in the final analysis, the justice that these children deserve has finally come to fruition.  So, we’re very grateful that it’s finally done.”

Roth says it’s important to note that the funds won’t just benefit Victor, it will likewise help his two adopted siblings who were also abused by the parents.

“These funds will not just benefit the one surviving child, but there are two others also who had significant issues,” he added. And, because there was a claim made on behalf of Nubia’s estate—Nubia of course being the one who was killed—then each of the children will share in a portion of the recovery.”

Because of the physical and sexual abuses the three surviving siblings endured, Roth says some of the funds will go toward the treatment they’ll need for the rest of their lives.

“Among the things I’m most proud is that the combined recoveries made has secured the financial future for these children, and there will be no issue with them getting all of the care that they require for the rest of their lives,” he continued.

The claim bill totaling $3.75 million will now be paid half this year and half next year.

For more news updates, follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter: @SaschaCordner.

Sascha Cordner has more than ten years of public radio experience. It includes working at NPR member station WUFT-FM in Gainesville for several years. She's worked in both radio and TV, serving in various capacities as a reporter, producer and anchor. She's also a graduate of the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in telecommunications. She is the recipient of 15 awards from the Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), and Edward R. Murrow. Her award-winning stories include her coverage on the infamous “Dozier School for Boys” and a feature titled "Male Breast Cancer: Lost in the Sea of Pink." Currently, Sascha serves as the host and producer of local and state news content for the afternoon news program "All Things Considered" at WFSU. Sascha primarily covers criminal justice and social services issues. When she's not reporting, Sascha likes catching up on her favorite TV shows, singing and reading. Follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter:@SaschaCordner.