Autopsy Shows California Man In Roach-Eating Contest Choked To Death

We previously discussed the untimely and untidy death of Edward Archbold, 32, who collapsed after winning the title as the world champion roach eater. We speculated about the possibility of liability for a “bad roach.”
The autopsy is now in on Archold and the finding is that he choked to death on the roaches.

Archbold also ate various other bugs and had competed earlier in the superworm-eating contest. He was competing for a python but vomited not long after winning the competition. After winning the roach-eating competition, Archbold vomited and collapsed.

The report says Archbold of West Palm Beach died as a result of “asphyxia due to choking and aspiration of gastric contents.”

There remains the question of the liability of the sponsor but questions of plaintiffs’ conduct would make any lawsuit difficult given the autopsy. If choking is a basis for liability, any pie eating or other food competition could fall under the same theory. These contestants assume such a risk and eat only as much as they wish in the competitions. What could be the basis for liability is a lack of medical assistance at such competitions. There could also be a question of whether the sponsor should have prevented competition in multiple events. These however remain a stretch given the consent and obvious danger of choking that attends such competitions. People occasionally choke to death in such competitions like hot-dog eating contests, including young people.

The video below shows a willing Archbold wolfing down roaches and roach parts before he collapsed:

Source: LA Times

11 thoughts on “Autopsy Shows California Man In Roach-Eating Contest Choked To Death

  1. WHen I was a firefighter one of the paramedics started eating random bugs in an attempt to gross us out. Being an amateur magician (good at ‘palming’) I played along and ‘ate’ some too. It became a ‘thing’ for a while. I never understood the desire to eat mass quantities of stuff though. I guess there is even a professional league now for these circus freaks. What was once a cute distraction at the county fair has turned into a gladiator match.

  2. Wow, the first comment.

    Well, it is quite a simple analysis, and you said it JT.
    Anyone (or anyone’s estate) who voluntarily undertakes a contest that involves some physical danger, and knowing the risks, cannot later claim liability of the sponsor of the contest.

    This incident is colored by the ick factor nonesense of roach eating, but is fundamentally exactly the same.

  3. So sorry for that person. Isn’t there something to prevent
    this kind of stuff. People demeaning themselves. What
    attraction is that? The audiences cheering them on.
    They are worse than drug dealers.

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