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Settlement reached in lawsuit over boy who choked on hot dog at movie theater

Posted at 9:22 AM, Jun 27, 2019

BAKERSFIELD — A settlement has been agreed to in the case of a 14-year-old boy who choked to death on a hot dog at a Bakersfield movie theater.

Attorney Timothy M. Osborn confirmed to 23ABC News that the victim's family and Reading Cinemas have agreed to a settlement, ending a civil lawsuit filed over the boy's 2014 death. Osborn said the settlement included a confidentiality clause, preventing him from revealing the terms of the agreement, including any financial compensation.

"I can say that the family is pleased with the results," Osborn added.

Osborn represented the family of a 14-year-old boy with Down Syndrome who choked on a hot dog he was eating while at a movie with his grandfather in October of 2014.

The lawsuit claimed the teen was eating and watching the movie and "began to exhibit signs of choking due to what appeared to be a blocked airway."

The complaint says the boy's grandfather, Ricardo Mendiola, tried to save the boy but was unable to "because he could not see in the dark theatre and was unable to hear due to the high volume of the movie's audio."

Court documents say Reading Cinemas employees arrived and Mendiola "begged and pleaded" to have them turn on the lights and turn down the audio so he could find out what was causing the teen's choking and help him.