Avonte Oquendo wrongful death lawsuit settled for $2.7 million

New York City will pay $2.7 million to settle a lawsuit filed in the death of Avonte Oquendo, the city’s law department confirms.

The 14-year-old nonverbal autistic boy went missing in October 2013 after fleeing his Long Island City school. His body was found in January 2014 on a shoreline by the East River in Queens.

Oquendo’s mother Vanessa Fontaine filed a wrongful death lawsuit back in 2014 that accused the NYPD, Department of Education and Riverside School officials of negligence in the disappearance and subsequent death of her son. 

“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,” the New York City Law Department said in a statement. “The DOE has taken a number of steps and is dedicated to taking every measure possible to prevent something like this from occurring again.”