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City increases legal settlement in 9-year-old's death at Gwynns Falls Elementary School

Hundreds of mourners paid their respects to Darius Clark, a 9-year-old boy who died after a fall at Gwynns Falls Elementary School. (Kenneth K. Lam/Baltimore Sun video)

Baltimore officials voted Wednesday to add $75,000 to a legal settlement over the death of a 9-year-old at an elementary school.

City officials had already approved a $150,000 payment to the family of 9-year-old Darius Clark, who suffered a fall at Gwynns Falls Elementary School in 2015 and died in a hospital four days later.

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His parents sued a school health aide for wrongful death and their attorney questioned whether school officials responded quickly enough to help Darius.

On Wednesday, the Board of Estimates voted to increase the total settlement to $225,000.

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"As a human, you have to empathize with what the family is going through," said acting City Solicitor David Ralph. "As a representative of all families, you have to weigh that against what is in the taxpayers' best interest.

"I didn't think a trial would serve either party well. ... A young person tragically died at school. That is unfortunate no matter how you slice it."

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