Mom sues Tough Mudder organizers after son's death

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Mom Sues Tough Mudder Organizers After Son's Death


A Maryland mother who lost her son in an extreme race is suing the organizers behind it, along with sponsor General Mills.

Tough Mudder is a 10-12 mile obstacle course. According to its YouTube promo, the course is "designed by British Special Forces." It involves freezing water, electric shock and, of course, mud.

ABC called it one of the fastest-growing competitions in the country, but the mother of the late 28-year-old Avishek Sengupta doesn't think the event is safe enough.

"Arguing that Tough Mudder 'acted with gross negligence and with indifference to the safety of its participants.' ... In April 2013, Sengupta died after ... jumping from an obstacle called walk the plank."

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Mom sues Tough Mudder organizers after son's death
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 27: Competitors challenge in Tough Mudder endurance race in Henley-on-Thames, England on 27 April, 2014. Competitors run a 19km course, designed by British Special Forces to test competitors' strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie with mud and obstacles that play on common human fears, such as fire, water, electricity and heights. (Photo by Tolga Akmen/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 27: Competitors climb while challenging in Tough Mudder endurance race in Henley-on-Thames, England on 27 April, 2014. Competitors run a 19km course, designed by British Special Forces to test competitors' strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie with mud and obstacles that play on common human fears, such as fire, water, electricity and heights. (Photo by Tolga Akmen/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
A participant reacts after she jumps into a freight container full of ice and water during the Tough Mudder endurance race in Henley on Thames, West of London, on April 26, 2014. The course is set out over 10-12 miles (18-20 km) with 20 obstacles. AFP PHOTO / JUSTIN TALLIS (Photo credit should read JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images)
Participants make their way up the 'everest' obsatcle during the Tough Mudder endurance race in Henley on Thames, West of London, on April 26, 2014. The course is set out over 10-12 miles (18-20 km) with 20 obstacles. AFP PHOTO / JUSTIN TALLIS (Photo credit should read JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images)
PHILLIP ISLAND, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 23: Competitors climb up a rope net during Toughmudder at Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit on March 23, 2014 in Phillip Island, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
Participants swim backwards through water underneath a mesh wire fence during the Tough Mudder endurance race in Henley on Thames, West of London, on April 26, 2014. The course is set out over 10-12 miles (18-20 km) with 20 obstacles. AFP PHOTO / JUSTIN TALLIS (Photo credit should read JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 27: Competitors climb while challenging in Tough Mudder endurance race in Henley-on-Thames, England on 27 April, 2014. Competitors run a 19km course, designed by British Special Forces to test competitors' strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie with mud and obstacles that play on common human fears, such as fire, water, electricity and heights. (Photo by Tolga Akmen/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - AUGUST 24: Participents take part in the Tough Mudder endurance event at Dalkieth Country Estate on August 24, 2013 in Edinburgh, Scotland. The world-famous Tough Mudder is military style endurance event over 10-12 miles with various obstacles around the course designed by Briish Special Forces. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - AUGUST 24: Participents take part in the Tough Mudder endurance event at Dalkieth Country Estate on August 24, 2013 in Edinburgh, Scotland. The world-famous Tough Mudder is military style endurance event over 10-12 miles with various obstacles around the course designed by Briish Special Forces. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - AUGUST 24: Participents take part in the Tough Mudder endurance event at Dalkieth Country Estate on August 24, 2013 in Edinburgh, Scotland. The world-famous Tough Mudder is military style endurance event over 10-12 miles with various obstacles around the course designed by Briish Special Forces. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - AUGUST 24: Participents take part in the Tough Mudder endurance event at Dalkieth Country Estate on August 24, 2013 in Edinburgh, Scotland. The world-famous Tough Mudder is military style endurance event over 10-12 miles with various obstacles around the course designed by Briish Special Forces. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - AUGUST 24: Participents take part in the Tough Mudder endurance event at Dalkieth Country Estate on August 24, 2013 in Edinburgh, Scotland. The world-famous Tough Mudder is military style endurance event over 10-12 miles with various obstacles around the course designed by Briish Special Forces. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - AUGUST 24: Participents take part in the Tough Mudder endurance event at Dalkieth Country Estate on August 24, 2013 in Edinburgh, Scotland. The world-famous Tough Mudder is military style endurance event over 10-12 miles with various obstacles around the course designed by Briish Special Forces. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - AUGUST 24: Participents take part in the Tough Mudder endurance event at Dalkieth Country Estate on August 24, 2013 in Edinburgh, Scotland. The world-famous Tough Mudder is military style endurance event over 10-12 miles with various obstacles around the course designed by Briish Special Forces. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
SENECA, IL - MAY 18: Colored smoke marks the course start of a Tough Mudder event held at the Seneca Hunt Club on May 18, 2013. Courses are between 10 - 12 miles long. (Photo by Stan Grossfeld/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
ENGLISHTOWN, NJ - OCTOBER 21: Participants tackle the Everest obstacle in the Tough Mudder event at Raceway Park on October 21, 2012 in Englishtown, New Jersey. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
ENGLISHTOWN, NJ - OCTOBER 21: A participant scales a wall to get to the start line in the Tough Mudder event at Raceway Park on October 21, 2012 in Englishtown, New Jersey. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
ENGLISHTOWN, NJ - OCTOBER 21: Participants go through the Artic Enema obstacle in the Tough Mudder event at Raceway Park on October 21, 2012 in Englishtown, New Jersey. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
ENGLISHTOWN, NJ - OCTOBER 21: Participants go through the Wounded Warrior obstacle at the Tough Mudder event at Raceway Park on October 21, 2012 in Englishtown, New Jersey. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
ENGLISHTOWN, NJ - OCTOBER 21: Participants go through the Mud Mile obstacle in the Tough Mudder event at Raceway Park on October 21, 2012 in Englishtown, New Jersey. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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The "Walk the Plank" obstacle involves jumping off a ledge into a pool of muddy water 13 feet deep.

Various media outlets have said Sengupta was underwater for 8-11 minutes.

The Baltimore Sun says according to the lawsuit, Sengupta jumped into the water, then another racer jumped in and struck him. The suit also says it took too long for a rescue diver to search for him.

"When he was pulled from the water, Sengupta was 'limp, lifeless and foaming at the mouth,' according to the lawsuit. The suit contends that his heartbeat was restored 42 minutes after he jumped into the water. ... His family took him off life support the next day."

The view that a rescue diver was too slow was backed up by a witness, who spoke with Outside Magazine earlier this year.

"A spectator named Michael Cardile [said] ... he'd seen [Sengupta's coworker] pleading with lifeguards for several minutes before they ordered the rescue diver in."

After Sengupta's death, Tough Mudder issued a statement saying the race was staffed with 75 emergency personnel including EMTs and paramedics. Neither Tough Mudder nor General Mills has commented on the lawsuit.

Just last week, the New York Daily News highlighted a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which shoed 'that 22 people contracted a diarrheal illness in October 2012, likely because they accidentally swallowed water contaminated with bacteria from animal feces during an extreme obstacle course in Nevada.'
22 PHOTOS
Tough Mudder
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Mom sues Tough Mudder organizers after son's death
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 27: Competitors crawl in mud to avoid being electrocuted by dangling electric wires while challenging in Tough Mudder endurance race in Henley-on-Thames, England on 27 April, 2014. Competitors run a 19km course, designed by British Special Forces to test competitors' strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie with mud and obstacles that play on common human fears, such as fire, water, electricity and heights. (Photo by Tolga Akmen/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 27: Competitors challenge in Tough Mudder endurance race in Henley-on-Thames, England on 27 April, 2014. Competitors run a 19km course, designed by British Special Forces to test competitors' strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie with mud and obstacles that play on common human fears, such as fire, water, electricity and heights. (Photo by Tolga Akmen/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 27: Competitors crawl in mud to avoid being electrocuted by dangling electric wires while challenging in Tough Mudder endurance race in Henley-on-Thames, England on 27 April, 2014. Competitors run a 19km course, designed by British Special Forces to test competitors' strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie with mud and obstacles that play on common human fears, such as fire, water, electricity and heights. (Photo by Tolga Akmen/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 27: Competitors challenge in Tough Mudder endurance race in Henley-on-Thames, England on 27 April, 2014. Competitors run a 19km course, designed by British Special Forces to test competitors' strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie with mud and obstacles that play on common human fears, such as fire, water, electricity and heights. (Photo by Tolga Akmen/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 27: Competitors crawl in mud to avoid being electrocuted by dangling electric wires while challenging in Tough Mudder endurance race in Henley-on-Thames, England on 27 April, 2014. Competitors run a 19km course, designed by British Special Forces to test competitors' strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie with mud and obstacles that play on common human fears, such as fire, water, electricity and heights. (Photo by Tolga Akmen/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 27: Competitors crawl in a cage filled with muddy water while challenging in Tough Mudder endurance race in Henley-on-Thames, England on 27 April, 2014. Competitors run a 19km course, designed by British Special Forces to test competitors' strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie with mud and obstacles that play on common human fears, such as fire, water, electricity and heights. (Photo by Tolga Akmen/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 27: Competitors challenge in Tough Mudder endurance race in Henley-on-Thames, England on 27 April, 2014. Competitors run a 19km course, designed by British Special Forces to test competitors' strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie with mud and obstacles that play on common human fears, such as fire, water, electricity and heights. (Photo by Tolga Akmen/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
PHILLIP ISLAND, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 23: A competitor crawls through mud during Toughmudder at Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit on March 23, 2014 in Phillip Island, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
PHILLIP ISLAND, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 23: A competitor crawls through mud during Toughmudder at Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit on March 23, 2014 in Phillip Island, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
PHILLIP ISLAND, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 23: A competitor crawls through mud during Toughmudder at Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit on March 23, 2014 in Phillip Island, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
PHILLIP ISLAND, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 23: A competitor crawls through mud during Toughmudder at Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit on March 23, 2014 in Phillip Island, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
PHILLIP ISLAND, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 22: A competitor wipes mud from his eyes during Toughmudder at Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit on March 22, 2014 in Phillip Island, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
PHILLIP ISLAND, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 22: A competitor crawls through mud during Toughmudder at Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit on March 22, 2014 in Phillip Island, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
PHILLIP ISLAND, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 22: A competitor falls into muddy water during Toughmudder at Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit on March 22, 2014 in Phillip Island, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
PHILLIP ISLAND, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 22: A competitor climbs up a rope net during Toughmudder at Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit on March 22, 2014 in Phillip Island, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
PHILLIP ISLAND, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 22: A competitor falls into muddy water during Toughmudder at Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit on March 22, 2014 in Phillip Island, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
PHILLIP ISLAND, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 22: A competitor crawls through mud during Toughmudder at Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit on March 22, 2014 in Phillip Island, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
PHILLIP ISLAND, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 22: Mud drips off a competitor's face during Toughmudder at Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit on March 22, 2014 in Phillip Island, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
SENECA, IL - MAY 18: Competitors walk/climb 'Everest' and then jump into the muddy waters during a Tough Mudder event held at the Seneca Hunt Club on May 18, 2013. (Photo by Stan Grossfeld/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
SENECA, IL - MAY 18: Competitors go through the 'Electric Eel,' where dangling wires give off electronic shocks during a Tough Mudder event held at the Seneca Hunt Club on May 18, 2013. (Photo by Stan Grossfeld/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
CHESHIRE, UNITED KINGDOM - NOVEMBER 18: A participant during the Tough Mudder endurance challenge at Cholmondeley Castle on November 18, 2012 in Malpas, United Kingdom. The 10-12 mile obstacle endurance course will this year be raising funds for Help for Heroes. (Photo by Shirlaine Forrest/Getty Images)
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