New Castle News

Closer Look

December 27, 2013

Mom sues over daughter’s choking death

SHARON — The mother of a Mercer Elementary School third-grader who died after choking on a hot dog has sued the company hired by the district to handle lunches, two of its employees and a company hired to monitor food safety at the school.

Aizeya R. Mattocks, 8, choked Feb. 13, 2012, at the school and died two days later at a Pittsburgh hospital.

The girl died of asphyxiation, according to the suit filed Dec. 13 by her mother, Amber Mattocks of Mercer.

She sued AVI Food Systems Inc. of Warren, Ohio, the lunch contractor; Cynthia Cillo of Pittsburgh, AVI’s district manager; Jane Ferguson of Fairview Township, AVI’s resident director for Mercer schools; and NSF International, Ann Arbor, Mich., which audited AVI’s food safety program at Mercer and created food safety guidelines.

The eight-count suit alleges negligence, wrongful death and vicarious liability.

The suit said 10,000 children under the age of 14 visit emergency rooms each year for food-related choking.

About 70 children a year under the age of 10 die of food-related choking and 17 percent of those deaths are caused by hot dogs, which can “act as a plug and wedge itself into the airway,” the suit said.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has recognized the dangers of hot dogs and food-related choking, the suit said.

AVI should not have served hot dogs or cut them into smaller pieces, and trained employees in first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation, the suit said.

NSF should have identified AVI’s policy of serving hot dogs to children and advised them to stop, the suit said.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Closer Look
  • money.jpg AFSCME, county back to bargaining table

    A courthouse labor union and county government officials hope to try a third time to reach a contract agreement. County administrator James Gagliano, who represents the county’s collective bargaining team, said talks are scheduled for May 2 between county negotiators and members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 2902.

    April 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • tv04.jpg New Castle director, writer, producer filming zombie pilot locally

    The horror genre holds a special fascination for Tom Stoops. He has been a devotee of that film style since he was young. So it makes perfect sense that as a director, executive producer, writer and actor, zombies would show up in his latest project.

    April 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • money.jpg Neshannock trail to be integrated regionally

    Construction of a downtown section of the Neshannock Creek Trail is expected to commence this summer. Lawrence County planning director Amy McKinney briefed the county commissioners yesterday on a 1,400-mile trails project initiated by Power of 32.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Shale royalty meeting for landowners planned

    Lawrence County residents who have questions about royalties on gas drilling leases are invited to a meeting tomorrow.

    April 23, 2014

  • Townships to pave roads

    Youngblood Paving Inc. was awarded a contract for this year’s road maintenance in North Beaver and Little Beaver townships.

    April 23, 2014

  • oneill.tiff Union principal receives award

    Union Area School District’s elementary principal will receive the 2014 Distinguished Female Educator Award. The award from the Tri-State Area School Study Council is to be presented April 24 to Linda J. O’Neill during the 12th annual Dr. Jean Winsand International Institute for Women in School Leadership at the Edgewood Country Club in Penn Hills.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Good to grow: Library to offer seed lending program

    Patrons of the New Castle Public Library will soon have another service to look forward to. For newcomers to gardening and seasoned pros, the library is having — for the first time — a seed lending program.

    April 22, 2014

  • Knives prompt reporting of school violence

    On a typical day last year, Pennsylvania schools caught 11 students toting weapons. They were knives, similar to ones used to slash 21 students and a security guard at a Pittsburgh-area high school, according to the state Department of Education.

    April 22, 2014

  • Ferannte.tiff Upholstery shop showcases music, talent

    Following in the footsteps of his father, grandfather and great-grandfather, Jim Ferrante is working to improve his community.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Local pastor helping fire victims

    A local pastor is opening up donation avenues to help two families who lost their homes to fire this week.

    April 18, 2014

House Ads
Seasonal Content
Section Teases
Must Read
Continuous Super Bowl Coverage