LA QUINTA, Calif. — A California toddler has been left quadriplegic and disabled for life after choking on a sticky gummy candy, according to a lawsuit filed on December 28. The lawsuit alleges that Amelie Paredes Sotelo, now three years old, consumed a Candy Land Gummy Dot last December, which became lodged in her throat and blocked her airway. Even after being rushed to the emergency room, doctors struggled to remove the candy due to its “excessive stickiness”.
Amelie’s parents, Maria Aylin Sotelo Camacho and Francisco Paredes Rivera, are now seeking $50,000 in compensation and punitive damages in their lawsuit against Frankford Candy & Chocolate Co., the manufacturer of the gummy candy, and toy company Hasbro, through which the candy is branded. The parents claim that the Candy Land Gummy Dots, inspired by the popular board game, did not include any choking hazard or safety warnings.
Due to being deprived of oxygen for an extended period, Amelie suffered permanent brain damage and spastic quadriplegia. She is now unable to speak, swallow, or move independently, requiring lifelong medical care and a permanent gastronomy tube for feeding. Ring camera footage captured the distressing incident, showing Amelie’s parents desperately attempting to dislodge the candy as their other children looked on.
The lawsuit alleges that the candy was negligently designed, with extreme stickiness that made it difficult to break down when exposed to saliva. The family’s attorney, Thomas Bosworth, argues that the product should have carried clear and accurate warnings about its dangers. Bosworth emphasized the need for proper labeling and stated that the family will continue to fight for the removal of the candy from store shelves or the implementation of adequate warnings.
The defendants, Frankford Candy & Chocolate Co., Frankford Candy LLC, and Hasbro, Inc., are facing charges of product liability, failure to warn, negligence, and negligent infliction of emotional distress. Bosworth hopes that the companies will take responsibility and address the safety concerns raised by the lawsuit.
A jury trial has been requested to determine the outcome of the lawsuit.