BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — The mother of Caitlin Nelson, who died in 2017 following an eating contest at Sacred Heart University, has withdrawn a lawsuit filed against the school, court records show. The university has agreed to settle the lawsuit under undisclosed terms, the Associated Press reported.
Caitlin Nelson died at age 20 on April 2, 2017, several days after choking during a pancake-eating contest at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut. Witnesses at a Greek Life dinner saw Nelson eat four or five pancakes before falling to the floor and shaking uncontrollably, the Fairfield Citizen reported at the time.
Court records show the complaint, filed by Rosanne Nelson in Connecticut Superior Court, was withdrawn on Nov. 9. William Bloss, an attorney for Rosanne Nelson, told the Associated Press the case was resolved. The attorney declined further comment to the AP.
The complaint, filed in 2018, claimed Caitlin Nelson’s death was “100% preventable.”
“Sacred Heart knew, or should have known, that an eating contest with college student participants posed an unreasonable risk of choking and death,” the complaint said. The lawsuit said the university sanctioned the pancake eating contest without research or consideration of the danger to students, did not give proper oversight and failed to provide enough medical responders.
The university had previously denied wrongdoing and had filed a cross-complaint against the school’s food services provider Chartwells, which also denied wrongdoing, according to the AP. The cross-complaint has also been withdrawn, the AP reported.
Caitlin Nelson’s father, Jim Nelson, was a Port Authority Police Officer and the only Clark resident to die in the Sept, 11, 2001 World Trade Center attacks. A playground dedicated to Caitlin and Jim Nelson opened in May 2019.
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