Mother Files Suit After Son from Ellicott City Killed at Tough Mudder

The mother is seeking damages in a wrongful death suit.

Mita Sengupta, the mother of the Ellicott City man who died last April at Tough Mudder in West Virginia, has reportedly filed suit against the organizers of the competition for alleged negligence.

Her son—Avishek Sengupta, 28, of Ellicott City—died after taking a plunge off the "Walk the Plank" obstacle, a 15-foot jump off a platform into a pool of muddy water on April 20, 2013, in West Virginia.

Avishek Sengupta worked as a climbing instructor at Earth Treks in Columbia, Patch previously reported. He was also an account executive for a technology firm, according to The Baltimore Sun. On April 20, 2013, he was one of approximately 14,000 people participating in the 10-mile obstacle course in Gerrardstown, WV.

The lawsuit alleges that in an effort to keep the flow of participants in the competition moving, the company running Tough Mudder abandoned safety protocols, according to the Associated Press. The news service reported a woman jumped onto Avishek Sengupta before he had a chance to surface.

Court filings state that more than 20 people required rescue from "Walk the Plank" due to freezing temperatures and people going into shock before Avishek Senugpta took his turn, according to the West Virginia Record.

Bystanders told Patch there was an inordinate amount of time required for a rescuer to begin looking for the missing man, and that it took another 30 minutes for an ambulance to arrive.

Court documents said Avishek Sengupta was "limp, lifeless and foaming at the mouth" when he was pulled from the 13 feet of water, and it took 42 minutes to get his heart to beat, according to The Baltimore Sun.

He was pronounced dead the following day due to accidental drowning.

His mother, Mita Sengupta, filed the wrongful death suit on behalf of her son's estate in mid April in Marshall County, WV, claiming that several parties involved—Tough Mudder, the company in charge of hiring divers, the diver who went to look for her son, the venue where the event was held and the event sponsor—allowed for an "unreasonably dangerous obstacle" with overcrowding and understaffing, the West Virginia Record reported.

As a result, Mita Sengupta is seeking damages in an amount to be determined by the court, WHAG News reported.

Tough Mudder conducted an internal safety review after Avishek Sengupta's death, and as a result, said it was adding guard rails as part of the "Walk the Plank" obstacle and would have volunteers watching more carefully, according to the Associated Press.

The competition has continued since the incident, with more than 10,000 people regularly attending each Tough Mudder event.

JaySmith May 07, 2014 at 06:37 AM
All those "participants" who jumped from 15', feet-first into a deep pool of mud need to get their heads examined for supreme idiocy. And the guy was 28 years old, even defined as an adult by Obama's definition -- yep we're in the over-litigious society getting ready to crumble
Jill Updike May 08, 2014 at 01:16 PM
Tough Mudder and many other such activities do have inherent dangers which participants need to understand before embarking on them but there are basic safety precautions that participants expect to be in place. While there are many frivolous lawsuits filed, there also are many lawsuits that serve to protect people from the negligent behavior of others. Before you decide which kind of case this is, please watch the videos and news reports from this accident. http://www.wtsp.com/video/2423935719001/1/Tougher-Mudder-racer-dies-after-8-minutes-under-water https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gs0gYU7uBcE
YOSEMITE SAM May 17, 2014 at 04:33 AM
no one put a gun to his head; his choice his fault; if you are stupid enough to do this; you pay the price.............
Rachael Elmore May 17, 2014 at 06:51 AM
I have done 7 of the tough mudder events over the past 3 years and plan to do more. The things to keep in mind are, no one forced him to attempt each obstacle, one shouldn't treat each obstacle as if you are a demi-god, and lastly, the only time I've seen injuries happen was mostly due to those who raced through a course designed to help each other. Instead of waiting to see if all clear, they jump. I haven't done walk the plank the last 4 times bc of this. It seems that some people forgot kindergarten lessons on taking turns. But there are almost always someone at the top at each line telling you when to jump, but what is a college aged kid going to do to stop someone who cares not about others but their own personal race to the finish?


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