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February 20, 2001 12:00 AM

Gina Score Settlement

Click here to watch this story (Windows Media) The chapter is over, but the book is still open. Those words today from Gina Score's parents as they accept a $1.25 Million settlement in the death of their 14-year-old daughter at the state training school in Plankinton. Gina Score died from heat exhaustion after a 2.7 mile forced run on a hot July day in 1999. When Score, who was overweight, collapsed in the blistering sun, she laid there for three hours before an emergency crew took her to the hospital. Since then, the state has changed the way it handles teen criminals, but David and Viola Score, Gina's parents, say they won't be happy until the juvenile prison is shut down completely. "This is really hard you guys..." says Viola Score. The tears Viola and David Score cry today are the same painful tears they cried a year and a half ago when first getting news of their daughter's tragic death. It's a heart-crushing feeling no amount of money, not even a $1.25 Million dollar settlement, could ever ease. Score says, "Everyday of our lives and it doesn't ever go away." Hoping to help Gina before she got into real trouble, the Score's turned to the state of South Dakota in 1999 and they say the state turned on them. "It was plain abuse. She wasn't a bad girl...she was a very loving child," says Score. The Score's still have a hard time believing their daughter is gone. Viola says, "It's not easy. You see kids Gina's friends. They're getting confirmed, going to school. Each of these events are not going to be easy to go through." Gina's parents were scheduled to take the state and Sioux Valley hospital to trial next month over Gina's death, they say settling is the best way to get on with their lives. Score says, "It's been one and a half years of ongoing writing and reports and there's got to be an end sometime." Although they say it's much too late, Score's parents still haven't heard from Governor Janklow. "As to this date, we have not heard an apology from him. It hurts to think that people like that... he has no compassion... no compassion whatsoever," says Score. Governor Janklow is out of the state tonight and can't be reached for comment, but his press secretary says Janklow has called the Scores several times and they would not accept his call. The state of South Dakota and Sioux Valley Hospital are splitting the settlement--50-50. Some of the $1.25 Million will go to Gina Score's two brothers. We're told a "substantial" amount of the settlement will be used to establish a foundation in Gina's name to counsel teens coming out of the state's juvenile corrections system.

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