Family sues school after daughter’s pancake eating death
THE grieving family of a 20-year-old woman who choked to death during a pancake-eating contest filed a lawsuit against the Connecticut university she was attending.
Caitlin Nelson, who was participating in Sacred Heart University's Greek Week celebration on March 30, 2017, reportedly began to shake uncontrollably and fell to the floor after eating multiple pancakes in a short period of time.
The family have initiated legal action in hopes of raising "awareness of the preventable dangers associated with amateur eating competitions", Fox News reports.
Responding officers tried to clear Ms Nelson's airway, but were unable to save her.
The lawsuit claims police found Ms Nelson's mouth "compacted with pancakes almost to her teeth," and that the pancakes were "like concrete" in her airway.
Ms Nelson, of New Jersey, was rushed to St. Vincent's Medical Center in Connecticut, and later transferred to Columbia University Medical Center in New York, where she was pronounced dead.
An autopsy determined Ms Nelson died from asphyxia due to obstruction of the airway.
The family, who tragically lost Ms Nelson's dad, a Port Authority officer, in the 9/11 terror attacks in New York, donated the aspiring social worker's organs after her death.
"Caitlin's family is bringing this case to expose the dangers associated with amateur eating contests and to help prevent other families from having to endure this kind of preventable tragedy," Katie Mesner-Hage, of Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder, which represents the family, said in a statement.
"These contests are significantly more dangerous than people realise and it's critically important for the public - especially educational institutions, to understand that certain foods are safer than others and a modicum of forethought can literally save lives."