California Man Dies During Taco Eating Contest

We have previously discussed the liability issues associated with eating contests or drinking contests. In Fresno, California, Dana Andrew Hutchings competed in the Taco Truck Throwdown eating contest and it proved to be his last meal. Hutchings is believed to have choked to death during the taco-eating contest at a Grizzlies game in California. I remain surprised by the continued popularity of such contests given the obvious risks. However, these contests are often accompanied by clear waivers of liability and such tragedies are viewed as a classic assumption of the risk by courts absent some collateral negligence in responding to a medical emergency or other issue beyond the dangers of the competitive eating.

Medics reportedly tried to clear Hutchings’ airway but he passed within thirty minutes. That could undermine any negligence claim for failure to prepare for medical emergencies related to the competition. Moreover, Hitchings reportedly had been preparing for the competition. One report said that he suffered from diabetes and had a couple beers before the competition.

The question is whether the organizers asked or knew about any condition that might contribute to a higher risk for Hutchings. It will have to be a strong showing of negligence however given the obvious and known risks of an eating contest.

18 thoughts on “California Man Dies During Taco Eating Contest”

  1. Trump once sent out a photo of himself on Cinco de Mayo sitting behind a taco. I’m waiting for the respected Harvard Law legal scholar who nobody would ever confuse with a hyper-partisan-Democrat-screwball, Laurence Tribe, to send out a tweet saying Trump’s promotion of eating tacos makes him complicit in this man’s death. And that Democrats are on solid ground if they decide to impeach him for causing this guy’s death by promoting tacos.

    1. Scott – didn’t Trump have a Taco Bowl? And didn’t he take static because it was not a regulation taco?

  2. Eating contests are a bad idea. Too many people choke to death. Plus, it’s always seemed like a really gross event to watch.

    1. Karen S – this is the first time I remember hearing of someone choking to death. You have stats to back up your statement?

  3. Tacos. Bad food. Eat em fast. Puke. Go to hell in the hand basket. Blame the white nationalists who oppose tacos coming into our country without papers.
    No more taco contests. Kamilia Harris should chime in. That other itchBay should chime out. Hillary the 8th sucks tacos.

  4. Excellent catalyst for accelerating evolution. For those 2/3 Americans who have a BMI > 24, overweight /obese, this is the answer. Hallelujah! Praise the Lord! Since they lack fortitude within their loins for self-discipline, Warren should promise free taco, spaghetti and burrito feasts in every town every weekend. That will rid us of the excess weight, pun intended, of these slothful gluttons.

    Warren, with a BMI of 17 (?) need not worry. Hillary with a BMI of 45 factorial can blame deplorables, misogynists, James Comey, Obama, electoral college, and David Brock’s subhuman trolls

    Mespo should be spared because diversity is his strength

    1. Estovir – you know that BMI is unscientific? It has no statistical basis. As a teacher, I had several students panic because their doctor told them their BMI was too high. Here was the problem is almost every case. The girl had hair down to their waist. Their weight was taken in the winter and the had a jacket on when they were being weighed, adding additional weight (more depending on how cold it was). So, I would explain to the girls that they looked fine, they always needed to moderate their diet, but the doctor had not taken a few things into consideration when getting the BMI and not to panic. Oh, and then I would explain the unscientific basis their doctor had decided they were over-weight to begin with.

      https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/is-bmi-an-accurate-way-to-measure-body-fat/

      1. Paul, all of medicine is based on the physical sciences interpreted as an art form. The BMI scale has many limitations. I have a BMI of 32. I am also an amateur bodybuilder, have a significant amount of muscle mass having competed once at an NPC contest years ago. Thus the BMI has limitations. However, it’s a quick and easy metric that has utility since few Americans fall under the umbrella of bodybuilders.

        Body fat is living tissue. People think it’s just a blob but in actuality it has significant physiological purpose hormonal. Too much fat is pathology (heart disease, Type II Diabetes, 30% of cancers are related to fat excess, and so forth) much like too little fat (e.g. Anorexia) can lead to hormonal deficiencies (lack of breasts).

        Alternatives to BMI are bodyfat composition tests like body impedance analysis (electrical current and resistance therein in tissue), using calipers but this is very unscientific since it depends on the person doing the caliper reading acquiring the correct location on the body and amount of skinfold, or placing a person in a chamber or pool flooded with water, and measuring the person’s buoyancy: expensive, cumbersome, difficult to access by most of us.

        If you have a better diagnostic for assessing if someone is overweight or obese, you should write a paper on it, submit it for publication to a scholarly peer review publication, and provide us the link. If that were to happen you would walk away from law and be very rich or run for US Senate?

        Till then, BMI works just dandy in most physician clinics and hospitals.

        1. Estovir – I do not think the BMI has ever been presented for peer review in a scholarly journal. That is the problem.

          Now, when you are judging the BMI of a patient, do you include musculature, tone, length of hair, amount of clothing they were wearing when weighing in, etc?

  5. Cannot help but think that someone who would enter such a contest is a candidate for a Darwin Award.

    Food is properly savored. There’s a reason gluttony is one of the Seven Deadly Sins.

  6. Hutchings is believed to have choked to death during the taco-eating contest at a Grizzlies game in California.”

    – Professor Turley
    ______________

    Apparently Jeffrey Epstein had a “choking” problem also.

    To wit,

    “Autopsy finds broken bones in Epstein’s neck, deepening questions around his death”

    Among the bones broken in Epstein’s neck was the hyoid bone, which in men is near the Adam’s apple. Such breaks can occur in those who hang themselves, particularly if they are older, according to forensics experts and studies on the subject. But they are more common in victims of homicide by strangulation, the experts said.

    – LMTOnline

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