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Family sues after California man dies in taco-eating contest

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.
Chukchansi Park
Fans arrive at Chukchansi Park in Fresno, Calif. on Sept. 18, 2015. Fresno authorities say a man died shortly after competing in a taco-eating contest at a Grizzlies game.Eric Paul Zamora / The Fresno Bee via AP

The son of a California man who choked to death during an amateur taco-eating contest at a minor league baseball game is suing the event’s organizers for negligence.

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.

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

“We won’t be making any public comments,” Grizzlies President Derek Frank said in an email.

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