FRESNO, Calif. — Eighteen-year-old Marshall Hutchings’ lawsuit filed Monday alleges his father, Dana Hutchings, was not made aware of the risks and danger involved in an eating competition, the Fresno Bee reported.
The 41-year-old died after choking on tacos while competing in the contest during a Fresno Grizzlies game on Aug. 13, 2019. Participants competed to devour as many tacos as possible during a certain amount of time.
Professionals in the sport of competitive eating train and make themselves physically ready to participate, Hutchings’ attorney Martin Taleisnik said. “But that is not always present in an amateur eating contest. The conductors of this event should have made the risks known to the competitors and taken steps to protect them.”
Adding to the risk, Taleisnik said, was the availability and consumption of alcohol during the event.
Dana Hutchings, who had never participated in an event like that before, collapsed several minutes into the eating contest. He had a mouth full of chewed and unchewed tacos obstructing his respiratory system, according to the lawsuit.
Chukchansi Park staff rushed on stage and began cardiopulmonary resuscitation and used an automated external defibrillator. They also called 911 and when emergency personnel arrived they found Hutchings unconscious. He was taken to Community Regional Medical Center where he was later pronounced dead.