Wrongful Death Suit Filed After “Tough Mudder” Drowning

Tough Mudder is an internationally known fitness competition that requires participants to climb walls and ropes, run, and crawl, and complete various obstacles while soaked in mud. The company grossed almost $100 million last year and continues to grow in popularity among participants and supporters. A mother has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Tough Mudder and Airsquid Ventures, a company responsible for water safety at the event. The lawsuit was filed by a Boston firm, charging both companies with gross negligence that resulted in the death of a participant.

Obstacle courses, marathons, and other fitness events require reasonable care and precautions by hosting companies or organizations. In this case, Tough Mudder, was responsible for ensuring the safety of participants. In the event that a participant is injured or doesn’t get appropriate medical treatment, hosting organizations may be held accountable. Our Boston personal injury attorneys are experienced in complex personal injury and wrongful death cases. We are committed to protecting the rights of victims and their loved ones in the event of a personal injury or accidental death.

According to an Outside Magazine report, the lawsuit was filed after mediation between the parties failed. The mother of the victim took legal action after learning the details of her son’s death. According to the complaint, one of the exercises involves a “Walk the Plank” obstacle, requiring participants to jump from a 15-foot platform into a pool of cold, muddy water. Participants are then required to swim 40 feet to a cargo net to exit the muddy pool. During the obstacle, the organization was directly responsible for the overcrowding and failure to monitor the pool. The organization also removed important safety features to increase crowd flow.

Prior reports indicated that there were long waiting times on many of the obstacles. To respond to these complaints, the organization simply let all participants enter at the same time. This meant the removal of certain safety precautions including trained safety staff, dividing participants by lane, and creating signs to reduce the chances of participants landing on one another. In similar events, the American Red Cross recommends having more lifeguards on duty or if events are overcrowded, they must be shut down in some cases.

Reports indicated that there were over 20 rescues from the same area before the victim drowned, but the event hosts failed to take any action. In addition to Tough Mudder, the subsidiary company responsible for water safety has been under attack for failure to assist in search for the body. The company also allegedly did not respond quickly when the victim’s friends reported that he was missing underwater. According to the complaint, the reports should have triggered an immediate search and rescue effort.

It is unknown how long the participant was under water but it could have been as long as 10 minutes. He had a pulse, but was essentially brain dead and his parents took him off life support a few days after the accident. The case is now in public limelight and is raising additional questions about the safety practices and policies of Tough Mudder, including liability waivers or the “Death Waiver,” that is supposed to eliminate liability in such cases.

Contact Boston attorney, Jeffrey S. Glassman, for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call (617) 777-7777.

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