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Settlement in teen death


The mother of a 16-year-old Palmdale High School sophomore who died when a SUV slammed into their apartment reached a settlement this week in the lawsuit she filed against the intoxicated man behind the wheel, as well as the building’s owner.

Maria Mendoza sought unspecified damages on allegations of wrongful death and negligence. On July 11, her attorneys filed court papers with Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michelle Court stating that the case was settled. No terms were divulged.

Mendoza’s daughter, Giselle, was killed about 3:50 a.m. April 20, 2014, in the bedroom of her family’s apartment in the 1000 block of East Avenue R.

Mendoza’s Los Angeles Superior Court suit, filed in March 2014, alleged building owner Bo Kun Song negligently maintained a railing in front of the apartment that he knew was unsafe and needed repair or replacement.

The plaintiff alleged that Roberto Rodriguez’s vehicle plowed through the wall of the apartment building and into the teen’s bedroom as a result in part of Song’s inaction.

Song’s lawyers maintained the accident was the result of an “unforeseeable criminal act” and that Rodriguez’s actions cut off any liability for their client.

Last September, Rodriguez pleaded no contest to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.