Family of man who died after participating in Taco-eating contest files lawsuit against the event organizers

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The family of a California man who died in a taco-eating contest has filed a lawsuit against the event’s organizers, alleging their negligence caused the death of their family member.

The suit is seeking unspecified damages from the event organizers Fresno Sports and Events LLC, the owners of the Fresno Grizzlies.

Dana Hutchings from California died in August 2019 after participating in Taco-eating contest that would allow amateurs qualify for the World Taco Eating Championship at Fresno’s annual Taco Truck Throwdown, KFSN-TV reported.

Pacific Park World Taco- Eating Championship in 2018. Photo: Morgan Genser, via smmirror

Professional eater Geoffrey Esper downed 73 tacos in eight minutes during the 2018 Taco Eating Championship in Fresno, the Media outlet reported.

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Prior to the competition, Hutchings never took part in any similar events before he entered the amateur competition on Aug. 13, 2019, at Chukchansi Park during a Fresno Grizzlies minor league baseball game, The Post reported, citing the lawsuit.

In the suit filed on Monday April 5 by the deceased 18-year-old son, Marshall Hutchings, he alleges that his father was not made aware of the risks and danger associated with such competition, according to the Fresno Bee.

Dana Hutchings began choking and collapsed only minutes into the eating competition, his son said in the lawsuit, according to the report. He was taken to a hospital, where he was later pronounced dead. Dana Hutchings was 41 at the time of his death.

The coroner’s officer determined that his cause of death was choking, according to The Post reported.

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Martin Taleisnik, the attorney representing the Hutchings family, argued that participants in professional eating competitions train and prepare their bodies for such events.

“But that is not always present in an amateur eating contest,” Taleisnik reportedly said.

“The conductors of this event should have made the risks known to the competitors and taken steps to protect them.”

Fresno Sports and Events have not yet commented on the lawsuit at the time of this report.

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