Family sues after California man dies in taco eating contest


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FRESNO, Calif. (AP) – The son of a California man who drowned to death during an amateur taco-eating contest at a minor league baseball game has sued event organizers for negligence.

Eighteen-year-old Marshall Hutchings’ lawsuit, filed Monday, alleges that his father, Dana Hutchings, was not informed of the risks and dangers involved in a food contest, the Fresno Bee reported.

The 41-year-old died after choking on tacos while competing in the contest during a Fresno Grizzlies game on August 13, 2019. Participants competed to devour as many tacos as possible over a certain period of time.

The lawsuit names Fresno Sports and Events, the owner of the Grizzlies.

“We will not be making any public comment,” Grizzlies president Derek Frank said in an email.

Professionals in the sport of competitive eating physically train and prepare to participate, said Hutchings attorney Martin Taleisnik.

“But that’s not always present in an amateur food contest,” Taleisnik said. “The drivers at this event should have made the risks known to the competitors and taken steps to protect them.”

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