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House Gives Final Approval To "Barahona Bill"

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TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) - In one of the state's most notorious child welfare cases in recent years, the House on Wednesday gave final approval to a bill that calls for paying $3.75 million in the death of 10-year-old Nubia Barahona and injuries suffered by her brother, Victor.

The House voted 114-2 to approve the bill (SB 18), which unanimously passed the Senate last week. The bill now goes to Gov. Rick Scott.

House sponsor Jose Felix Diaz, R-Miami, said the Department of Children and Families did not pay attention to "red flags" before the 2011 death of Nubia Barahona. Diaz said the children, who had been adopted, were "tortured."

Nubia Barahona's decomposing body was found in February 2011 in the bed of her father's pickup truck on Interstate 95 in Palm Beach County. Victor Barahona was convulsing in the truck, as both children had been doused with toxic chemicals, authorities said.

The Department of Children and Families was alleged to have failed to prevent abuse of the children and agreed to a settlement that called for paying $5 million. It paid $1.25 million but needed legislative approval of a "claim" bill to pay the remaining $3.75 million.

The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.

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