BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A settlement has been reached in the case of a boy with Down Syndrome who died after choking on a hot dog at a movie theater.

The terms of the settlement, reached Wednesday, are confidential, but the boy’s family is pleased with the outcome, said plaintiffs’ attorney Timothy M. Osborn.

“I can tell you that, once again, I’m extremely proud of this family,” Osborn said. “I think they’ve shown true grit over the past three years in this legal battle.”

The lawsuit filed against Reading International Cinemas, LLC, alleged theater employees had no training on what to do in the event of an emergency, and Reading had no policies and procedures in place for stopping a film, turning the lights up or lowering the audio.
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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.
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A wrongful death lawsuit of a 14-year-old boy with Down syndrome who choked at a movie theater and died in 2014 was settled Wednesday.

The terms of the settlement are confidential, though the Mendiola family — the plaintiffs in the case — are “pleased with the outcome,” said Tim Osborn, attorney for the Mendiola family.

“I’m so proud of them for seeing this through,” Osborn said of the Mendiola family. “They sincerely hope this does not happen to someone else in the future.”

Chris Faenza, attorney for Reading International Cinemas, declined to comment on the settlement.
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Jacob Mendiola was the heart of his family — the life of the party, a friend to anyone he came across.

On Oct. 30, 2014, the 14-year-old boy with Down syndrome went with his grandfather Ricardo Mendiola to see “The Book of Life,” an animated children’s movie, at Reading Cinemas in Bakersfield.

Video footage from that day shows a happy, excited and cheerful Jacob at the snack bar with his grandfather before the movie began, but it ended with emergency medical technicians wheeling Jacob out of the auditorium on a stretcher. He choked on a hot dog, causing his airway to become blocked, and his heart stopped beating, said Tim Osborn, attorney for the Mendiola family.
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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A wrongful death lawsuit alleging employees at a movie theater in Bakersfield failed to turn on the lights or stop the film as a 14-year-old boy with Down syndrome lost consciousness while choking on a hot dog is scheduled to go to trial this summer.

On Aug. 12, almost five years after the death of Jacob Mendiola, the lawsuit filed against Reading International Cinemas, LLC, on behalf of Jacob’s mother and grandfather, is set to be brought before a jury.

Plaintiffs’ attorney Timothy M. Osborn said theater employees had no training on what to do in the event of an emergency. Reading had no policies and procedures in place for stopping a film, turning the lights up or lowering the audio.
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